Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Big, Brave Day

I know all the Mamas are doing it, but I can't help m'self.

Mr. Lee started school today. The miracle is that I got him out the door (willingly) in attire that was not made entirely of mesh. The secret? The undershirt. I bought him a bonus pack of white undershirts (just like Daddy wears) and he was good to go. He also wore his NBA sweatband all morning, but decided on just the orange wrist band when Daddy told him that the teacher may ask him to put the sweatband in his back pack when he got to school.

Baby steps.

I did not shed a tear. Is that ok? Of course I felt those pangs of nostalgia and the yearning to turn back the clock a few years. I longed for one more ruffle of his homegrown baby mohawk. I wished I could really remember his baby gibberish. I saw those years flash before me and yes, it was hard to comprehend that we went so quickly from all of that to this.

But it's time and that just can't be helped. I was excited for him.

One of my biggest jobs as a mommy is to teach my kids independence. I knew that this would be hard for him. He's a homebody. He's also double-dipped in honey and rolled in sugar. He is affectionate and loving and holds my hand everywhere we go. If left up to him, he would not have gone to pre-school (the precise reason he was enrolled) and he most certainly would opt out of Kindergarten.

Now, if we were kicking around sending him off to Junior High? Well, he'd be all over that. But little dude gets jittery and nervous in the wake of construction paper and crayons and all things kid-friendly.

The best news of all is that his best friend is in his class.

And in case you didn't know, this is what best friends do on that first Big, Brave Day.

His eyes took on a certain sheen at the very last minute, but my prayers for a courage fill-up were answered and he soldiered on.

For the next three hours, I stayed busy mashing potatoes and baking a cake that ended up tasting a little like a peach omelet. I watched those minutes tick. I willed more courage and maybe even some fun.

Waiting for that bus to come into view, I felt blind-date antsy. I can honestly say that I've never been happier to see a school bus.

He did it.

Tonight, heading out to meet his brand-new cousin, Baby Macy, he said, "OK, maybe I do like Kindergarten."

Can you hear it? That's music, baby.

74 comments:

  1. I am sure that Ruby and Silas are as proud of their big brother as you are of your biggest little. He will love it.

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  2. I still remember both of my children's first day of kindergarten and they are now 32 and 34. It's such a monumental milestone in not just the childrens' lives but the parents' lives too.

    I really liked your analogy of blind-date antsy---that says it all.

    Happy that you and your little guy got through it fine and that he likes school.

    Thanks for stopping by 'my place'--come over anytime.

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  3. "His eyes took on a certain sheen", ok, that photo makes this mama tear up a little. He's on his way, how exciting for Mr. Lee.
    ~G~
    hugs

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  4. Ok I took Nyquil a half an hour ago, to put my menopausal butt to sleep, but I had to stay up cause I just KNEW you'd be up on your stool typing away about Fabio's first day. I'm glad it went so well. You a good momma. He gone be ok. You did good Shab.

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  5. I am so glad he had his buddy in his class. I loved the picture of them touching hands and I could almost see the courage running between them!! Jesus in his pocket sure was a help too.

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  6. Congrats to both you and Calvin on conquering the first day! I was fortunate that both of my kids (now 22 and 20) went "willingly". In fact, on her first day of preschool (at age 3)my daughter informed me that I didn't need to get out of the car! I have to admit, I do miss those first day of school "days"... hold on tight because 13 years will go by in a heartbeat. ~Chris

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  7. I love it. First day of 1st and 4th is next Monday and I plan to do the same thing - wait, pray and bake {sounds like a Julia Roberts movie}. Nothing has grown me more as a mommy than sending my soldiers out into the world to shine their light. Every day is a lesson in trust. So glad he had a great day - and those pics of you two on the road home are awesome.

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  8. He started kindergarten and you let him ride the bus?!? You are so much braver then I am! I am terrified of the school bus!
    The picture of him waving goodbye makes my heart sad! I know it's good for him, the very reason my homebody boy went to kindergarten this year instead of being homeschooled, but still it's so sad!
    I'm glad he loved it! :)

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  9. Ok, I haven't been by lately...bad blogger friend I am. So catch up. Love the new header picture. The hint of the silo in the background makes me feel like sipping lemonade and smelling hung dry laundry. Horray for Homes running. I wish I could be that motivated. The cause makes it even more wonderful. Calvin, the shining star, the Kindergartner. I'm with you in 6 days. I am getting happy and sad at the same time. More to come but congrats to big boy for being brave. The pictures of buddies holding hands..priceless. And about my blog...I'm glad you like my music selection that will eventually date me and I would LOOOOVVVE your laugh because you don't have JR's upper lip....oh and I just know you're awesome and not stuffy in real life like JR. :) What else, what else...I'm happy to be visiting your happy blog place. Mucho Love on out to ya Indiana. :)

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  10. you are braver than I will ever be, or wish to be.
    I don't care. I'm not letting them go. At least, not now. Preschool be..um, you know.

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  11. Too sweet. He is so stinking cute. I am glad you were both brave. Before you know it you will driving away from his dorm room... and Oh baby, is that ever hard. Congrats Momma!

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  12. Beautifully written from your heart, as always. xo

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  13. You did it to me again Shannan! Brought tears to my eyes.
    That photo of him waving goodbye and the other of him touching his best mates hand did me in.
    x

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  14. oh oh oh. what a sweet sweet boy. i love the way he held his friends hand!

    i did not cry when paige (our first) went off to kindergarten but yes indeed had those very nostolgic feelings. i really don't anticipate crying (but who knows!) this time as i send paige to 2nd and rae to kindergarten (on thursday) but as i write this, i have those very present pangs in my stomach thinking about it. i am getting excited because they are excited. and i keep telling them, God has a specific plan for you at your school. you have such an opportunity to tell others about Jesus!

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  15. oh and i can totally relate to the excitement of seeing that big orange bus coming down the road!!

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  16. High fives all around! And the picture of you two walking the driveway? Priceless!

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  17. Is it an unwritten rule that we are suppossed to cry when we send our kids to school? Your attitude is what counts and that is probably why his first day was such a success...
    You inspire me to be a better mother...
    PS..where in the world did you get your pants? I need me some of those... Dang cute.

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  18. Wonderful! I love this! I don't want my baby to start school! I would have been a mess! ~lulu

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  19. Awwww!!! So sweet!!!!! I remember that feeling,in fact I had the same feeling on the first day of college for my oldest son. I was the mom that took his photo that day too!!!! LOL!!!!!

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  20. That picture of Calvin waving.....awww....I did a little cry and I;m not his mama! God is good....ALL the time!!

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  21. As always - STUNNING post. The first day is big stuff. And he looks so handsome.

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  22. I'm so very, very happy for you! You're raising a wonderful little man there.

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  23. such a great post and pictures...if only I had some from Charlotte's first day.
    This post totally brought me back to that time.
    Calvin is so handsome!

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  24. I love it! what a great post.... I am tearing up! I can't would love to hear him ask his teacher when chemistry is!!

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  25. ...first we give them roots...and then we give them wings...you did good mom...

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  26. Aaaaahhhh...My boys are so big now, but I still feel all of that!
    Your description of your son being double-dipped in honey and rolled in sugar- Priceless!
    Good job Mommy, and good job to your Kindergärtner!
    You were both brave,
    Joyce

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  27. I remember those days. He is adorable, and thanks for sharing. Mine are older now, but sometimes I still watch the minutes tick on that clock. Jackie

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  28. Way to go Calvin!!!! I remember that first day, and I can say that waiting for the bus never loses its excitement. Wyatt goes to 1st grade next week. Crazy times! Enjoy them.

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  29. Oh beauty of a post girlfriend! Love me some Calvin! I'm so happy that he had a good day. May there be many more ahead of him!

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  30. "One of my biggest jobs as a mommy is to teach my kids independence."

    Honk! Honk! Atta girl!

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  31. What a brave boy he was! I love all the pictures and am so glad he had two of his best friends in there with him, Brendan and Jesus! I'm sure he will be leading the class in deep discussions before the week is up!

    Love you guys,
    Nana

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  32. O.k., maybe you didn't cry, but I just did. The picture of the BFF hand holding did me in. What an awesome friendship. So happy it went well.

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  33. Such memories...this brought a tear to my eye (actually a few tears!)
    I'd give up just about anything for those days back!
    He's a trooper : )

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  34. Pure awesomeness.
    Glad the little dude had a good day and that he might just like it!

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  35. The road to independence is filled with many challenges - but all good in the end :)

    Keep up the good work!
    ~Heather

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  36. This is just too precious, I'm nearly crying! Gah! I just love Mr. Lee's sweatbands and that first picture is PRICELESS!

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  37. What a sweetie! And that big smile when he got home! Precious.

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  38. What a cutie! I love that he wore his sweat wristband - so much like my little Everett who also adores mesh - much to the disdain of my sister. I start him at preschool on the 30th and I'm not so brave yet!

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  39. My heart is melting.
    Little boys on their first day of school, backpacks packed, school supplies stowed, tummies aflutter, best buds by their side.
    Big steps for little boys.
    I'm so glad he had a good day!

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  40. that will be meeeeee, next fall sending luke to school! oh, my, my!!

    i'm so happy he enjoyed his first day!

    k

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  41. Oh Shannon, reading your post brought me back to sending Sydney off to kindergarten two years ago! My eyes are nearly swelling with tears at the memory of it all. He looks so handsome and happy. What great pictures!

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  42. ...don't forget what kindergarten means...a garden of children...how perfectly beautiful is that...

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  43. That is so great. So proud of you and your little man. It made me nervous just to read your words. I hope he has a great week! Love the best friend shot...so sweet!

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  44. Oh so sweet! I am on number 4 and still get teary... first day is like a passage of some sort for me, and touches my soul in a different way. That grin on Calvin's face when he's off the bus is just divine. He's a happy happy boy, Good job Mama! (Daddy too)

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  45. I'm crying. I'm crying . . . I'm not going to be able to do it. Oh my goodness, that picture of him waving his little brown arm with the orange sweat band. He is priceless. And you are such a good, brave Momma.

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  46. It is a big step. That last picture of him at school about made me cry. Think how hard that was for him not knowing what to expect. I bet in a couple hours he was having great fun. Loved his coming home on the bus and how happy he was. Good luck. YOu did good.

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  47. Well, now my eyes are taking on a certain sheen! This is making me emotional for 2 reasons: 1. I remember my son going to his first day of Kindergarten and I have a photo of him looking through the school bus window with a sad face. Makes you want to jump on the bus and just homeschool! and 2. My daughter will be starting Kindergarten in a few weeks and I am going to go through all those emotions all over again. I feel your pain and joy as this new chapter in his life begins.
    Time waits for no one.
    Congrats to you on making it through the first day!

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  48. awww, it's so good to know he had a good day! :) It's hard, isn't it?? Dropped mine at their new school, there were tears. I was fine till my daughter started crying. I just hate it. I worried all day, picked her up to nothing but smiles. lol Today she led the way and wouldn't even let me walk her all the way to her room.

    Progress. :)

    Next we will tackle the bus!

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  49. He's so stinkin' cute...

    I have but a couple of years till I make this move, too. Lettin' go of my buddy...for his first day of school.

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  50. I was a little misty eyed reading your post. I will be right there in two weeks- and I wish I knew where the time went- honestly.

    I remember just hoping he would sleep through the night- and now he's in kindergarten.

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  51. What a sweet post! I loved the picture of Calvin and his friend walking in together, holding hands. I teach second grade, but there's nothing like the fresh enthusiasm and excitement of a kindergartner. Good luck this year Calvin!

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  52. I loved your tender words. We went through that last year with my oldest, and I thought I was doing so good, not crying! Then, all it took was my four year old tearing up as he said "good bye" to big sister...the whole family lost it. At 6:45 in the morning. (the bus comes early in our parts.) Each day got a little easier...and by now...Well, I think I'm more excited than my daughter about school starting tomorrow! Good job, mom and Calvin, on being brave and not afraid to hold someone's hand for a little support sometimes.

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  53. I am very proud of you for not crying. I have to be honest I teared up when I got to the hand holding/best friend photo. Glad to here the first day was a happy one...besides what's better then coming home to a homemade cake and a loving Mom! Lori

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  54. What a cutie! When you come to Chicago for the race, you can drive about 15 miles west to Niles, IL and visit the Super H mart which is a huge Korean grocery store. Check out their website at www.hmart.com. The store is in a shopping mall at Oakton and Waukegan streets (801 Civic Center drive in Niles is the technical address). Assi is another asian grocery store a few blocks north (8901 N. Milwaukee, still in Niles). Just in case you get the urge to cook your schoolboy and the other littles a true Korean feast.

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  55. Good for you Calvin....and good for you too Mommy! Kindergarten ain't the same as it was when we were growing up. There are no more naps in half day kindergarten! Oh no....they are supposed to grow up so fast. From what my Mom tells me about Calvin....he'll be just fine.

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  56. that made my eyes well up... yea calvin (and mommy too)

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  57. Yay Calvin! I am surprised you didn't cry with all the nostalgia you were experiencing. I am glad I homeschool because I would have been a ball of mess!

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  58. We are going through the same stuff here... my little guy starts next friday. He is nervous so I told him no matter what situation is making him nervous he can always pray about it and ask God to help him not feel nervous... today he had his kindergarten testing and afterward told me that he didn't say it out loud, but thought about God and "wishing" he would make him not nervous and it happened. I told him that just by thinking it God heard his prayer! He was so excited!
    Congrats Calvin!!!

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  59. What a precious big boy! (Was just thinking today about the last one I sent off to kindergarten - he's getting married this Saturday. How did that happen?)

    Jan

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  60. You may not have cried, but I did just reading it. He is so cute and what a big boy he was to head out into this new adventure. They grow so fast. My kids have been long gone and now we are welcoming the grandbabies! Thanks so much for coming by.

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  61. In the UK we don't have school buses, we take them right up to the school gate, sometimes classroom door, not sure which is more tough on the heartstrings! I had to stop myself badgering them for every last detail of their day - my boys found it increasingly annoying!

    Life is a series of little epochs isn't it?

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  62. absolutely wonderful. i love this post. i love your writings. i love this pictures.

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  63. Oooooh! Love this post. Love all your posts. But this one especially.

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  64. such a sweet post! i teared up! so happy he did well on his first day and he looked so handsome.
    thanks for stopping by my blog:)
    jessica

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  65. Oh my gosh, he couldn't be cuter if he tried. I love the half/brave, oh-great-what-did-i-agree-to, look in his eyes. He look so old!

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  66. I stumbled upon your blog, or so i thought, via a friends blog... joyframeworks... and while i was expecting some design inspiration or encouragment on my road to simplicity, God delivered just what I needed. My oldest just started his 1st week of PreK. In many ways it was easier than I thought and then in a few ways I was surprised at how unprepared i was for this step in our lives. It was a great comfort to read your story. I began to realize that this new season we have entered is an invitation for God to work in our lives and an opportunity for ME to put my trust and my little man's heart in His hands. Thank you for sharing. In Him, Emily

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  67. Three cheers for Calvin! Love the pics...too cute. Tugged at my heartstrings, that's for sure. :)

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  68. Just found your blog, love it!
    I also love the picture of your little guy and his BFF holding hands. :)

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  69. Oh and like yourself, I'm also a Hoosier! :)

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