It was big day for you, today! This morning you and I walked hand-in-hand around the block to a small stone church nearby. Not for Sunday school, which you would have been equally excited about, especially since the one time you went there you played with lots of Apple Jacks, the name you call all My Little Ponies, no we didn’t go for Sunday school. This time, we went for your first day of class as a preschooler.
Sometime last spring we signed you up for Kiddie Kollege at the local recreation center, which was an hour and 15 minutes twice a week. But that was not preschool, and Mommy felt much differently about your attendance there on that first day than I did this morning.
Today marked your first day going to school. Your first day with electricity in your chest and butterflies penballing through your belly. Your first day to think about who you’ll meet and what new outfit you’ll wear. The first day to think about what classes you’ll be taking and which boys might be sitting next to you.
Actually, I’m getting ahead of myself! You’re only three and a half (in a few days), not thirteen. Which means thankfully all you were thinking about was squishing playdough between your delicate peach fingers, and singing songs off-key while you spin around with your arms stretched wide till you’re dizzy.
You were thinking about all the belly laughs you’ll share with your new friends and the amazing secret games you’ll make up together.
You were thinking about the yummy snacks you might enjoy, wondering if real gold-fish eat Goldfish Crackers and if you’ll turn into a gold-fish if you eat them, too.
I’m proud of you, Zoe girl. You can count really well now (not just knowing the numbers but you understand the concept of counting), and you can identify all your letters, and you can spell your name and mommy’s name (which is not “M-O-M” it’s “J-O-Y”- you’ve let me know this more than once). You can spell “P-A-R-K” and “Z-O-O” two of your favorite places to visit. You can sit still and listen to all sorts of books being read to you. You can recite your favorite books by heart and you can even let me know when I missed words.
Not only are you smart, little peanut, you’re so pretty, too. You’ve got long fingers and a petite frame. Your hair is very thick and hangs down to your shoulder blades. I like to put your blonde strands into two braids – that seems to keep your fly aways in place for most of the day. Your eyes are large expressive puddles of cornflower blue framed perfectly with light brown eyebrows which you like to arch up when you’re being very serious with me.
This always happens to be when you say, “Not yet, Mommy.” in an exact echo of my own voice when I’ve asked you if you’ve finished washing your hands.
Besides for being the only mom who showed up at your orientation today with my hair piled into a messy pony-tail and wearing jeans and a t-shirt, (It seems khaki pants and polo shirts were the unspoken uniform. I miss the casualness of Austin, kiddo.) I really enjoyed this morning and all that it entailed for you!
I enjoyed watching you slowly explore your new classroom. First looking around at everything – not touching anything just yet. Until you saw the reading nook. You went straight for that sunlit corner. And while the other kids played with trucks and dolls (which is perfect, too) you sat quietly and immersed yourself in new books to read. Your love of books makes me think you’re going to excel in school.
Either way, I know you’ll make me proud. You already have, Zozo. Reach for the stars, sweet one!
ps. You still call “Caterpillars” “Patakillers” and I love it!
Zoe’s First Interview:
(some questions are repeated on purpose)
What’s your favorite color? “Blue!”
What do you want to be when you grow up? “A vet. Mommy, I don’t want to grow up, and I want to be a vet.”
What’s your favorite food? “My favorite food is … suckers.”
What’s your favorite animal? “Um, my favorite animal … duck!”
What’s your favorite toy? “Um, my favorite toy, is um, my favorite toy, is uuuuuuum … (looks around the room) wagon! Wagons are my favorite toys.”
What’s your favorite instrument? “A violin. Mommy, violins are my favorite instruments!”
What’s your favorite book? “Mmmmmm, my favorite book is um (long pause) my favorite book is a Clifford one. It’s all my Clifford ones, Mommy.”
What’s your favorite movie: “My favorite movie is Baby Einstein.”
What’s your favorite thing to do: “I like to color.”
What’s your favorite place to go: “To Walmart.” (Her answer cracks me up! I have to say it’s because she gets a cookie from the bakery on the rare occasions when we do go.)
What do you dream about? “I don’t want to dream.”
What’s your favorite song? “Deep and Wide. That’s my favorite song.”
What rhymes with flower? “Power!”
How old is Mommy? “45!” (Need to work on that one.)
How old is Daddy? “How old is he?”
How old is Auntie A? “I don’t know how old she is. Timber-four. She is timber-four.”
How old is Noah? “He is timber-four.”
What does Mommy do? “Writes some things.”
What does daddy do? “He works.”
Where does he work? “At school. He works at school.”
Do you like your brother, Noah? “Mmmmm, I don’t.” (He was reaching for her crayons right then.)
What’s your favorite lunch? “Grilled cheese sandwich and soup.”
What’s your favorite animal? “Mommy, my favorite animal is a giraffe.”
Do you love Mommy? “Yeah. (long pause) I love Daddy. I love Mommy and Daddy.”
Do you like preschool? “Yeah.”
What do you like about preschool? “Playdough.”
What else do you like? “I like crayons.”
What’s your favorite time of the day? “Zoo.”
What’s your favorite color? “Mmmmm, my favorite color is yellow.”
Anything else I should know? “Mommy I want some lotion, that will help me feel better.”