I don't even know where to start. Tralee's first day of school was such a jumble of emotions, it's hard to go back and describe what went down as I don't think I was all together myself that day. I'll do my best.
The night before The First Day, as Jim was tucking Tralee into bed he asked her to please stop growing and to stay small forever. Her reply was, "You know I would love to stay small and stay your little girl, but there's no way I can unless you're a scientist that has shrinking potion and can shrink me down, but you're not as scientist, so you can't do that. I'll always stay small in your heart Dad, your big heart." Talk about a heart-melter!
Sadly, it's true. Jim is NOT a scientist that can reverse aging, otherwise Tralee's first day as school would probably still be a long way off. As it happens, her first day went ahead as scheduled.
|I love this picture. The look on Tralee's face as she watched the children play on the playground, you can tell her tummy has butterflies in it!|
Jim came home for lunch on The First Day, as he didn't want to miss this momentous event. We ate lunch, packed Tralee's snack inside her new Tinkerbell lunchbox, made sure her kitty backpack was ready to go, and lastly made sure our little kindergartner was set. She was so excited until a few minutes before it was time to leave the butterflies found their way to Tralee's tummy. She turned and said to me, "Maybe I wish I could stay home with your guys, because I love my family so much." Ah. . . another melty moment for my heart. But, I put on a brave face and told Tralee we wouldn't be too far away, and before she knew it, she would be home telling us tales of her first day of school.
When it was time to go, we walked to the school, which is awesomely located right behind our house, hand-in-hand. I snuck glances at Tralee who started looking a little less excited and little more nervous. I reminded myself that all week long I had been preparing her (and myself) for this moment. I was preparing so well, that when it came right down to it, I was sure I wasn't going to cry. On the walk over to the school, I watched Tralee get a little more nervous, and my own surety wore off I bit. But, I was still convinced that although my eyes might get a little misty, I WOULD NOT CRY!
When we reached the school, we took pictures, gave our final hugs, and watched as Tralee went off to play on the playground with her peers. I couldn't help but think about how fast time flew from the moment I first held Tralee in my arms those five-years-ago, to the moment I finally had to let her go. Too fast. As I watched her running around with all the other children I told Jim, "If I had only a handful of days I could go relive, I would go back to a day where Tralee was a baby." I would breath her in, hold on tight, and enjoy every second she was attached at the hip.
A few minutes later the bell rung. It was time for the children to go into their classrooms. Tralee kept playing and I realized she had no idea what the bell meant. I sent Jim over to tell her, and as soon as she knew, she ran over to her classroom door, put her backpack on, and walked in. When she walked in I heard her say, "I don't remember where to hang my backpack!" I showed her the day before, during orientation, but she was too anxious to go play that she must have not paid very close attention. Every inch of me wanted to go in and help her hang up her backpack, find a nice place for her to sit, and hold her hand until she was ready to let go. I didn't. I knew she would figure out where things went. She could find a seat on her own, and probably wouldn't want to hold my hand for very long anyways. So I turned around with my family-minus-one and started walking home. As I took a few steps away from school, the tears that I was SO SURE wouldn't come welled in my eyes. I looked over at Jim, who was carrying Hunter, and realized he was using our son to shield his face that was also brimming with tears.
|We were doing "the kissing hand"|
We didn't say much on the walk home. The silence between us and the tears rolling down Jim and my cheeks had enough to say for the both of us. Hunter was oblivious to it all, and asked if we could stop by the creek and pick some cat tails. We obliged, and has he ran around, Jim and I knowingly squeezed each other's hands.
When Hunty had his fill of cat tails, and Jim and I composed ourselves enough to finish walking home, we continued on our day. . . sort of. I was unloading the dishwasher when Jim texted me to let me know he was still sitting in the driveway. I walked out and we hugged for a few more minutes. Words like, "I can't believe how fast this is going!" and "We're going to be blubbering idiots at her wedding!" were said. Then we really did gather ourselves enough to continue on our day, and I couldn't wait for 3:45 to come around so I could go pick up my baby girl and find out how The First Day went.
|The last picture before Tralee was off on her own! She walked right into the classroom, and I realized she was officially on her own!|
When Hunter and I picked Tralee up she was crying. I panicked for a second thinking, "Oh no! She had a bad day!!" I asked what was wrong. Tralee informed me she was sad because she wanted to ride the bus, but couldn't. I explained that buses don't even come by our house, because we live so close. She calmed down after a few minutes and told me how great The First Day was. I heard a few stories then, and a few were remembered later. All and all, The First Day was a success!