Ricky’s officially a Kindergartener! Today was his first day. Actually today was only 45 minutes long and I attended with him, but he got to meet his teacher, see his classroom and get familiar with the school for his real official first day which isn’t until next week.
I’m a product of the Catholic School system and a proud product at that – 12 years of my education I owe to St. Joseph’s in Ogden. My mom has taught there for 30 years and is still teaching there. My friends who are like siblings to me spent most of their years there. My brother is a teacher and coach at a Catholic High School in the area. My friend’s kids now go to various Catholic schools around here. So, I would be kidding myself if I didn’t admit that it was a very hard decision for us to not send Ricky to a Catholic School. I almost feel like I am betraying my heritage.
But we made our decision and I felt great about it, until last Monday when my facebook news feed was plastered with my friends children’s pictures all in their adorable plaid jumpers, navy shorts, white shoes… you know the official uniform. It varies a bit between school, but it is recognizable to most. I worried and questioned our decision until today. There are things that I will miss this year, I am sure. For starters, I already miss the uniform (I can’t believe I would ever admit that, but as I parent my views have changed… I love the uniforms now!) I am sure I will miss the smaller class sizes. I know I will miss the Christian and religious teachings that are part of the curriculum. I will miss feeling like I am part of a family when I enter the school doors.
However, there are things that I will love and today I realized a lot of them. We love that we can walk to school. We loved Ricky’s classroom and his sweet teacher. We love that Ricky will have friends that live houses and blocks away rather than miles or cities away. I hope, and I think that I will feel a part of this community also.
Before we even hit the school property Ricky saw a boy walking with his parents that he knows through a mutual friend. Within minutes of lining up outside we had already learned the names of some kids and their parents. Ricky was a bit shy, as is normal for him, but I could tell he felt comfortable. He’s excited and ready!
He was thrilled to get have his name called and get his name tag. And he beamed when another kid, whom he has played with a few times at a friend’s house announced to the teacher after Ricky’s name was called, “Oh I know him really good, that’s Ricky right there.”
I loved the set up of this first hour where the parents and kindergarteners could attend together. We’re ready for a whole new phase! However, whoever said that life is easier when your kids get into school is mistaken! I already feel busier than ever. We’ve got soccer and homework and mandatory reading time and schedules and etc, etc.. We typically do this stuff regardless, however the requirement attached to everything adds a bit of stress.
All in all, we had a great day. After coming home from school, having lunch and getting the babies down for a nap, Ricky and I had some one on one time. We read one of my favorite stories from when I was a kid, “I wish that I had duck feet.” (We’ve got to get that 20 minute per day reading requirement in! ;)) I think it’s already one of Ricky’s favorites too… he giggled all the way through and asked Ken to read it to him again before bed tonight. And then we had ice cream.
I’m ready for the structure and the schedules of fall. And, I’m once again happy with our decision.