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Sunday, September 14, 2014

First days are hard on the heart.

I'm a veteran kindergarten mom now, you know. I mean, i've been a kindergarten mom for about 7 weeks now. (Which, the way I see it, if you multiply that times 3 kindergartners, then I'm practically 5 months in already!  :) So now, and only now, do I feel equipped to finally write about a day that came upon me like a ton of emotional bricks.

The first day of kindergarten….

We had prepared for it. Brian's parents got them (and made them!) a ton of clothes (Nana made the dress Hunter is wearing in the pictures) , my mom got them each a book. My dad pitched in to help cover the cost of before and after care...

My mom wrote them each a 'good-bye' and good luck letter of sorts….keep in mind, she had been watching them since they were 6 months old….so this was going to be a big change for her, too.

We removed the final links from our "Countdown to Kindergarten Chains".. (Kill me already with the sweet little baby pictures in the background!  SO not intentional…)

And then, we were ready. 

The weeks and days that led up to this first day were the kind that found me silently stressing about all kinds of ridiculous things. And like always, I'd eventually realize my insanity. Frankly, there were days I wondered why in the world I was getting so worked up about them going to kindergarten, especially given that I had survived TWO first days of preschool already. 

And then it hit me. 

It wasn't just that I was dropping them off for their first day of kindergarten.

I was dropping them off for their "first day of being-without-the-other-⅔-whom-they've-never-been-without-for-longer-than-a-few-hours." 

Yep. It was my internal struggle with them being apart from one another. (Which is hilarious in its own right because THEY didn't SEEM to care one bit about leaving each other.) I guess this is what  happens when you become a mom to three babies at once and your (and their) whole existence is based on the 'unit' and not the individuals. {"Oh you're the triplet mom…What your are triplets' names?..., Do 'they' get along? This sudden departure from our one and only identity was causing me a teensy bit of separation anxiety.

Aside from that, it was how all the other unknowns would play out that kept "putting a hitch in my giddy-up" as my husband says. 

…Like how would it be waking up three kids up at 6:00 am instead of 7:30.
…and how would they handle going to school for 8 hours instead of 4. 
…and going to school for 5 days straight instead of 2. 
…and having to be so much more independent in the cafeteria.

How would we manage packing lunches and getting them dressed, fed, teeth brushed, ready…
Would they be grumpy? Would they complain about going to school. And then complain about going to school AGAIN the next day? 

So. many. things. to. worry. about. 

There finally comes a point when you have to think like Nike and Just Do it. 

So the first day came (after an evening spent packing lunches, preparing backpacks, laying out clothes, etc. (Stay tuned for my kick a$$ organization post, by the way..)

I swear to you, I did NOT expect what happened that first morning. I did not expect it at all. 

It was dark and early and all the littles woke up agreeably, excited and eager. No one complained that it was too early. Everyone ate their breakfast without complaining that there wasn't enough milk in their cereal incident.They all got dressed. They brushed their teeth.

And folks, they LET ME TAKE PICTURES without groaning and moaning! 

 It. was. divine. 

Brian and I drove separately to school….the kids were in my car, and Brian was just ahead of us in his bomb truck. The kids were elated when they saw daddy turning on his flashy-flashy police lights just for them as we left our neighborhood. Our own personal police escort. Doesn't get better than that!

We arrived at school along with droves of other eager, anxious, nervous parents. We tossed oversized backpacks on undersized bodies and made our way through narrow gates to a very, very crowed playground.

The closer we got, the tighter the lump in my throat became. No matter how calm and collected I looked on the outside, I could not shake my internal struggle with watching them go three separate ways….it was almost suffocating.

We found three different lines {gulp} and placed three backpacks in three separate places {double gulp}.


And then we stood by and let them run on the playground. Hunter, our most independent little thing, suddenly became the most anxious. She didn't say anything, but I could see it all over her face and her body language. She's me-only smaller. She preferred to stay close rather than run and play and frankly, I was a little happy she did.

Despite my best efforts to will it away in my mind, the bell did eventually ring, sending hundreds of little bodies running every which way. We scooped ours up and began the 'holy crap I can't be in three places in once dance." We got Colton in line, backpack on, gave big hugs and kisses, then ran to Ethan's line, did the same thing and finally my little sparrow.

Her anxiety was confirmed when she looked at me with a mixture of sadness and anxiety and excitement in her eyes.

"Mom, I didn't give the boys a hug goodbye." My mind said, "Girl, you're crazy if you think we're going to run around and find them again. My heart? Well it said just the opposite.  :) And without a second thought, she and I made our way through kids and parents everywhere, like salmon swimming upstream, running to catch them before their classes went inside.

First to Colton, she gave him a big hug and said, "I'll see ya later, Colton."

Then we darted across the path to Ethan's line. Again, she gave him a big hug and said the same thing to him. (MELT MY HEART.)

Then we returned her back to her line, where the kids had started to make their way into her classroom. That little tiny girl turned back and waved to her Daddy and me no less than than 12 times.

And just like that, they were gone.

Brian and I went about our tradition of getting coffee and tea at Starbucks, whilst I collected my self and my tears and figured out how to pass the next 6 hours…

He decided on going to work. 

I decided to help my friend Nicole get ready for her first day of school teaching kindergarten (since 6 years earlier.) 

And finally, finally, FINALLY it was time!!! 

Brian met me there, and my mom and sister decided to come check out the exhausted little faces too. 

It was also Brinley's first day of preschool (2nd year) at Sonshine Preschool!

Grammy and Kinsley waiting for the kids to come out of the building!

Big hugs from Ethan! 

And then Colton!

And Hunter...

My world.  

Seriously girls. Just try to be cuter.   

And of course no first day of school would be complete without a trip to Baskin Robbins….It's tradition, you know.  :) 

First day of school projects…The Kissing Hand.  

And just like that. They're kindergarteners. 
I'm so happy they are where they are! They love their teachers and their school! 

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