You remember when you were little and had to go get vaccinated at the doctor's office? Your mom would try to prep you for what was coming while at the same time try not to freak you out. But once the word "shot" was mentioned it was over. There's really no way to sugar coat it. Your mother has basically just said: "You are going to get stabbed by a piece of sharp metal, injected with small amounts of live viruses. It will be painful, it will be bloody you will cry and I will be standing by holding the coats of the ones who do this to you"
You are fearful. You try to protest. You fake a fever. She doesn't buy it. There's nothing you can do. It's coming. The needle is coming.
The worst moment of the whole ordeal is when they ask you to "Hop up on the table." They wipe your arm with the alcohol pad. There is nothing left to do but panic. So you wiggle, you cry. Your mother holds you down.
Before you know it, it's over. And you can relax. It turns out, it wasn't really that bad. Now you get an awesome Garfield bandaid and maybe a sticker.
Putting your firstborn in school is pretty much exactly like getting a shot. Except the process was about a year and a half long for me. Without going into tons of detail, we began asking God what to do about Jack's school when he was four about to turn five. Although Jack seemed plenty capable of entering kindergarten last year, we felt it would benefit him in the long run if we waited one more year. I can't tell you how much he's grown and matured in the last year. As of today, I'm so glad we had him wait.
Here are the beginning of the day pictures:
Jack, you cannot blame the goofiness of these pictures on my inability to dress you. It was all you man.
He was smiling as we headed out to the van at 7:30. The brothers and I walked him to his class. His teacher met us at the door and gave Jack some directions. We waved goodbye and told him we'd be back later. I dropped off a confident excited young man. Nobody cried.
Ty and Austie and I ate Little Debbie donuts in the parking lot (our try-not-to-be-sad treat). Then we went home and had a really nice day. It was strange not having a big boy around. I felt like I'd gone back in time to when I only had three and my oldest was 4. It was weird. We did chores, played outside, watched an episode of Mighty Machines and then met friends at the park. We came home, everyone fell asleep. The alarm told us to wake up and go get Jack.
It was over. Whew. We had made it. It turns out, it wasn't really that bad.
Jack, oh yes, he also had a good day. He was eager to tell us about the science lab, about the discipline procedures, about the kid who broke the rules and about lunch. Let me tell you about his lunch...
To preface this, I want to remind you of the effort that went into making sure everything was just so for this special day. It wasn't just Jack's reputation on the line here. This was my chance to make a good first impression at this school. His lunch, first off, needed to contain food. I broke the sabbath by grocery shopping on Sunday to make this possible. Second, it needed to be healthy. Surely spinach and carrots would do the trick. (Who do I need to see about getting my gold star?) Third, it needed to be filling. I layered a generous portion of turkey on his sandwich. Fourth, not messy. He wore a white shirt. See also my concern from yesterday involving ketchup. I did not put any ketchup or mustard on the sandwich just a very tiny amount of dressing.
I pretty much nailed lunch. You can understand then, why one of my questions on the way home was:
Me: "Jack, did you like lunch time?"
Jack (grins): "uh-huh."
Me: "Did you like the cafeteria?"
Jack: "Yes! It had a place where you could get in line and wait and get a hamburger and french fries and something I didn't like and something else that looked like..." (You could see his little brain trying to figure out how to describe this dish. He gave up and moved on.) "...and they would ask you what you wanted."
Now I'm grinning. It was so fun to get to hear him tell of his experiences. Since I couldn't be there with him, this was the next best thing.
Me: "Oh, cool. Did you eat all the lunch I sent you?"
Jack: "Yes, and a hamburger."
Jack: "Well, when I got in there, the line was so long. It was all the way to the door. But after I got done eating there were only two people in line so I got in line and got a hamburger."
Me: "Really?... Did they ask you for money?"
Me: "What did you tell them?"
Jack: "I told them that I only had two things* in my lunch and that I was still hungry so they gave me a tray.
Thanks Jack. Thanks for that.
Sure enough, I opened his folder and there was a note from his teacher.
Tomorrow we are sending money to pay his tab. And we discussed saving hot lunch for special days or days when we don't have any food in the house.
Jack's first day artwork:
So there ya have it. And just so you know. I'm attributing everyone's good day to the fact that several people prayed for us. Today had a totally different feeling than yesterday and think it had something to do with hope.
*That was a lie. He had four things in his lunch.