I had no idea how crazy the first day of school experience would be. I think it was exacerbated by the fact that Kaelyn was attending all-day Kindergarten; the thought of her being at school for six-and-a-half hours a day, seven days a week is intimidating (at bedtime tonight, she whispered to her mother, "I wish we could just have kindergarten two days a week, just like preschool"). In the end, however, everything went splendidly, and we're pretty sure that she didn't cry . . . or at least not that much. She's going back again tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. My take away from today is that the parents were likely more nervous than the children. As we stood in line to get Kaelyn checked in this morning, the man in front of us knocked over a framed-needlework hanging on the wall. As it hit the ground, glass shattered all over the floor, and the professionally-dressed gentleman did his best to play it off. But the damage was done (both literally and metaphorically): things would never again be the same.
As Kelly and I stood in front of Kaelyn's teacher, listening to our daughter answer questions about herself, I felt a set of arms wrap around my leg. It was a five-year old Chinese boy. He looked up at me, expecting to see his father, but realized that he latched onto the wrong man's limb. He quickly jumped back, clinging for dear life to his dad's hand. His father and I looked at each other and just laughed.
Yep, nerves were high today. But change is a part of life. And today was a time to let go.