Sunday, September 23, 2012


First Day of School 9/13/12
Lilly has been going to school for just over a week now and everything about her school is exceeding our expectations.  Lilly jumps out of the car in the morning, greets her teachers and skips off holding one of their hands as she walks Lilly down to her classroom.  Lilly says goodbye to me in the car, tells Jack, "Sorry, buddy, but I have to go to school now.  But don't worry, I'll be home for lunch," passes Jack her treasured "towel blanket" to hold and then is happily on her way.  It's such a sweet parting in the mornings and I drive away happy.  Well, except on the first day when she skipped off and I burst into tears and cried the whole way home.  I know I couldn't ask for anything more; the fact that Lilly goes off happily and is excited about school is every parent's dream.  But seeing her walk away on that first day just tugged at my heart.  I came home and put Jack down for his nap.  I sat on the couch with a cup of coffee just thinking and crying, and then smiling and crying.  I called Jim and told him how it all went, and cried a bit more.  I talked to Mum and Dad, who gave me every reason to smile instead of cry.  Mel stopped by after she dropped Margot off, just when I needed a distraction, and we sat and chatted and had our coffees together as I waited for pickup time to approach.  At 10:30, my phone rang and I saw that it was Hunt Ridge calling.  My stomach dropped and I thought the worst.  When I answered, Kathleen (the director) was calling to tell me that Lilly was having a wonderful morning.  Kathleen has an amazing ability to make you feel good about yourself.  She told me that Lilly is a very well adjusted little girl and that Jim and I have a done a wonderful job raising her.  Kathleen made me smile as I pictured our little Lilly having so much fun at school.  After that phone call, I was able to relax and enjoy the rest of the morning.  Before I knew it, Jack was awake and we were in the car on our way to the pickup line.  We pulled up nice and early and sat there watching the three year olds who walk out holding hands and in line, to the front steps at the end of the morning.  They sit in a line at the top of the steps until a teacher comes up and holds one of their hands, walking them out to their cars.  Lilly saw me and started waving frantically and I waved back.  Her teacher brought her over to the car, buckled her into her car seat, shook her hand and said goodbye and told me that Lilly had a wonderful morning and it was like she'd been there for years!  I had a proud mum moment and we all went home and had lunch.

I wish that the rest of our day went as smoothly.  Lilly's breathing went downhill and we quickly discovered that she had some bug that she passed to the rest of us over the last week.  Then, at dinner, Jack had a reaction to scrambled eggs.  He had eaten eggs at least half a dozen times before and been fine--even in quiche.  But after some Benadryl to reduce his poor face from swelling, a good night sleep and a visit to the doctor for both children the next morning, we learned that Jack currently has an allergy to semi cooked egg.  So he can have egg in everything but not cooked on the stove by itself.  It's apparently pretty common, and this allergy is usually one that they grow out of.  The good news is that if he doesn't, he has a great role model in his Uncle Edward who has quite a bit of experience in this area.

We had a quiet weekend, and then by Monday when Lilly was better, everybody else was getting worse.  Jim and Jack were sick all week.  It hit me by the end of the week.  We've all had lots of sleep and fluids and are on the mend but it was a rough week--for everyone except Lilly!  

One of my favorite parts of every day is picking Lilly up from school.  When her teacher puts her in the car, she often starts laughing.  Miss Reilly is just wonderful.  One day, she told me that Lilly just makes her smile and her stories always make her laugh.  She called her a very spirited little girl (which we know all too well)!  Another day, she relayed to me that she couldn't believe Lilly knows all her letter sounds.  I didn't even know Lilly knows all her letters sounds so that was news to me and I smiled another proud Mum smile.  One day, she told me Lilly painted a picture of Burt from Sesame Street, complete with a head and a face, a body, arms and legs, eyebrows and cheeks, ears and hair...and that the body parts a child draws are very significant in child development.  I'm even learning a lot from Miss Reilly and I see her for just a few minutes every day.

My favorite story from the week was last Thursday.  As Miss Reilly put Lilly in the car, she asked me if I had a few minutes because she had to tell me a story.  She told me that during circle time at the end of the morning, Lilly had the class captivated with a story about going to Stew Leonard's (a grocery store) and everything we bought there and told them all about the giant cow that moos there (it really is a pretty amazing store), and a trip that Lilly and I took to the children's museum where we rode a train and Jack stayed home with a babysitter named Olivia.  Miss Reilly said that Lilly ended the story with a cartwheel!  A cartwheel?  As Mum said, I've always wanted to end stories with a cartwheel and when you're three, you can.  Even the lunch bunchers (the 5 year olds who stay all day) were mesmerized.  Apparently one of the five year olds looked at Miss Reilly and just said, "Wow."  I laughed, knowing all too well that this is well within Lilly's capabilities.  On the drive home, I asked Lilly about the story she told and she relayed it back to me and said, "...and then I did a cartwheel and Miss Reilly said, 'okay Lilly, I think that's enough.  Thank you!'" and again, I just laughed.  What a wonderful way to end your morning at school.  

We're ready for another week--hopefully a healthier one this week.  I can only imagine the stories that come home this week.  School is off to a great start and Lilly is thriving as we had hoped.  Here's to a week full of ending stories with cartwheels.


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