This has been an exciting week for Jonathan. It's been exciting for Allison too, but a little more predictable since she has the teacher she expected for grade 4 and is back with almost all of the same classmates. But for Jonathan this is a week of firsts.
On Wednesday I took him to an open house at his new kindergarten classroom at our local public school. He met his teacher and the Educational Assistant who works with the class, and he checked out the toys in the classroom, but he was fairly noncommittal about it and was eager to leave after a half-hour.
On Thursday afternoon he had his second open house: this time at his nursery school, which he went to last year and which he'll be attending on the alternate days from kindergarten. Now this was a different story entirely. He was so obviously comfortable and happy and at-home in the nursery school room: he went right in and found his favourite toys and played contentedly for the entire hour. He was also delighted to see Laurie and Janet, his teachers, again.
Today was the Big Day: his first morning of kindergarten. Rich and Allison and I all went with him to the schoolyard. There were many kids and parents milling around, and it was very hot. Before we even entered the yard Jonathan was crying, clinging to Rich, and saying "Go! Go!" The bell rang, and his teacher appeared in the doorway. Jonathan rushed inside, forgetting his backpack; when I took it to him he cried and screamed. The teacher encouraged me just to leave, so we left the schoolyard feeling a lot of trepidation about how things were going to go.
Rich and I stayed home all morning just in case the school were to call us. Amazingly, they didn't! We had coffee on the deck and read books and realized that we hadn't had a morning like this since before Allison was born. Such is the experience of all parents sending that last child off to school, I suppose.
We're starting Jonathan off with mornings only at kindergarten, so at 11:30 we headed back to the school. We went into the quiet hallway and peered in the window of the classroom door. All was peaceful and organized; most of the kids were working at desk activities, and we saw Jonathan and a classmate playing a game on the carpet with the EA. When the teacher saw us, she invited us in and said "He's had a lovely morning!" She said the crying had stopped very quickly, and she reassured us that it was best to leave quickly each morning and not worry. She also showed us some "work" he had done: a sheet on which he'd tried to trace a line through a maze--his first-ever kindergarten worksheet.
As we got him ready to leave, a classmate called, "Bye Jonathan!" and he waved and said goodbye to his new friends, whom he'll see again on Monday morning. All in all, a very good day to end a busy and exciting week.