Big Sister started first grade yesterday. She was nervous, unsure about the new situation, convinced she wasn't ready. But she was excited too, and she went to school with a smile on her face. On the way to school, she spotted a rainbow, surely a good omen for things to come in first grade.
Last year, when I sent my baby off to kindergarten, I shared some of my hopes and dreams as she began her formal education. This year, as I look back at the photos of that tiny girl and see how much she has grown and developed in a year that felt like a week, I still hope for all of those things.
But as I kissed my baby goodbye, I wasn't thinking such lofty things this time around. As I turned to go, with a busy day ahead of me, my hopes for first grade were pretty simple:
I hope I can pack her a decent lunch every day, and I hope she will eat it.
I hope she will learn to like math a little more and write letters backwards a little less.
I hope she will not be too afraid to ask to use the bathroom, and I hope she will wipe thoroughly.
I hope she will be glad to see me when I pick her up, but will not want to leave friends behind.
I hope we can manage the nightly burden of homework and violin practice without too much drama.
I hope we can get her to bed early enough for a good night's sleep, but still enjoy the dedicated book-reading time that is so important to us.
I hope we can mange the earlier waking and more structured morning routine, and get everybody out the door on time.
I hope I can keep track of the schedules, deadlines, emails, and logistics of two schools.
I hope the return to the rhythm and routine of the school year will be good for our family.
More than anything, I hope this kid will be happy and that I'll get to see her smile a whole bunch.
First grade, treat this child well. She's a winner, and you're lucky to have her.