Well, here Mommy sits. Alone. In a quiet house. About to nod off for the lack of little voices, activity, and general family energy. Thank goodness for my dog, Mandy, and the baby twirling in my tummy, or I’d really feel lonely! If it wasn’t for this harsh fall cough I’ve developed, I’d be at Jazzercise with the rest of the moms!
Dad’s down at the boat, fixing crane leaks and getting ready to haul the boat out before the Dungeness crab season festivities begin. I’m not sure why he’s hauling out the boat this time; it seems like he just did it not too long ago, and our boat isn’t the kind you just haul out of the water at random. I was surprised when G emerged in Carhartts this morning, even though he insisted he told me he was resuming boat work today!
Vincent, of course, ran immediately back to his room to put on his work clothes as well, and I took him to preschool dressed in brand new Carhartt overalls just like Daddy.
Eva started kindergarten last week and so far everything has been fine. I was pretty sad the first morning and just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that my first-born baby was sitting in a classroom and would be there all day long. Without me. Eva has been involved in preschool, gymnastics, ballet, and Jazzercise since she was born, but these are things I’ve been involved with right alongside her, and they were controlled environments with parents and children I knew and approved of.
It was strange not recognizing any parent or any child at school. I did see my neighbor, though, which helped. And I am so glad that I know Eva’s kindergarten teacher personally and have full confidence in her professional, family, personal, and educational ethics. Other high points included the fact that the school is tiny and there is just one small kindergarten classroom and one kindergarten/first grade split.
I returned several afternoons last week to have lunch with Eva, I joined the PTA, and filled out classroom volunteer paperwork. You better believe that Momma will be at school with her eagle eye out, sharp and focused, as often as I can. It’s important for me to see who Eva is sitting with at lunch, how the other kids behave, and get a feel for the parents. In fact, I was there so often last week that some of the kids on the playground thought I was on official duty and came over to show me things like the lady bug they’d collected and saved in a jar.
We don’t live far from the school and there’s no real reason for Eva to ride the one bus that services the school and the neighborhood. I was not planning for her to ride it this year at all and was only half-considering it for next year. Eva, though, had other plans.
“Ke’ala rides the bus! Danielle rides the bus! Isaac and Zane ride the bus!” she insisted.
I agreed to “think” about it. Then, I met with the bus driver one day after school. I met with the driver again the next day and accepted the bus paperwork. I asked questions about exactly who rides the bus, what the rules were, and how they ensured safety.
“We haven’t lost a child yet,” she said, smiling.
On the third day, I boarded the bus with Eva and sat her down in the front seat closest to the driver. I explained that this was the only seat I would allow her to sit in and she had to follow Mommy’s rules. I observed every child that boarded the bus before I left Eva.
I stood and waved as the bus pulled out, then drove promptly to the bus stop where I picked Eva up. George and Vincent were there too, along with our dog, Mandy. Vincent wouldn’t look at us, though, because he was mad he couldn’t ride the bus with Eva. When the bus arrived and Eva climbed down the stairs, Vincent ran to to her and wrapped her up in a big bear hug.
It looks like we’ve got a school Open House this week and a school-and-church sponsored Southside Community Meal that we’ve been invited to. I have Eva’s daily class schedule here with me, so I know exactly what she’s learning and what she’s doing every hour of the day.