Wow, today was quite a day! Belle had her first day at preschool! We have spent weeks preparing...purchasing new tennis shoes, checking out library books about going to school, even getting a preschool t-shirt at Open House so she can wear it when she wants. (There are some Open House pictures included in the pics below. First day pics are the ones where Belle has on a purple shirt).
She was awake a lot last night, she has a bit of a cough and some congestion (I truly think it's allergies). Needless to say, I was up with her and spent a good deal of time in HER bed last night. I scratched her back and prayed for her and her teachers. I flashed back in my mind over our last 3 years. The days seem to last forever sometimes but the years fly! My baby is in preschool. My baby is growing up! My baby is READY!
With a very nervous stomach, I fixed Belle's breakfast this morning. She requested "eggies" with cheese. She helped to "scramble" them and there are pictures of that below. I just kept taking deep breaths and praying that God would get this mother's tender heart (and stomach full of butterflies) through the morning. Belle showed NO signs of nervousness at all! She had picked out her outfit last night and was dressed this morning by 8am. We left the house at 9:10 to drive to the end of the cul-de-sac to pick up Colin and Nicole. Colin is in Belle's class this year and Nicole and I thought it would be nice to ride together. Belle was a little stand-offish and shy but was still doing well. She did not want pictures taken in the car as you'll notice in the shots posted below.
We waved good-bye to Colin's grandma (she was at the house taking care of the baby) and were on our way. Nicole and I chatted and reassured Colin as his tears began. Belle was extremely quiet and was just absorbing all that was happening.
The school is in a church 1-2 minutes from our neighborhood so our drive was brief. We pulled into the carpool line and waited our turn to drop off our precious cargo. God could not have been more loving to me today...we "just happened" (yeah right!) to be in line behind a friend of mine from church. She is Belle's Sunday school teacher and we are carpooling to school with her once we get in a routine. As if that weren't enough of a heavenly hug, God sent Donna to be in the car RIGHT BEHIND ME! I was sandwiched in with friends and was quite calm actually. Belle's eyes watered a bit and I told her I loved her. She was fine from that point on. We unbuckled the kids and Belle turned around to wave to Ashlynn. Colin loved on his mommy and before we knew it we were next.
Another heavenly hug came when we saw the sweet smiling face of Mrs. Elliot. She is the assistant teacher in Belle's classroom. She was on "drop off" duty this week and was there waiting to take Belle and Colin out of the car. She had a big smile and took Colin out. Belle followed and when I asked for a hug and/or kiss she just kept moving! She didn't take the time to say good-bye, hug me, or kiss me!!! NO TEARS at all!!!! THANK YOU LORD!!! That was exactly my prayer. I knew I could get through with no tears as long as she was happy. She walked in with her teacher and never looked back! We drove away and I took a DEEP breath.
It was done, she was gone, she was happy, she was ready, was I???
Nicole and I drove to Starbucks where we met Donna for coffee and breakfast. I fought the tears when I first got there but they kept me laughing and distracted and I survived! After that we caravaned over to a nearby nail place and got pedicures! They kept me engaged in conversation and before I knew it I was sitting under the dryer and it was almost time to go back and get my baby. We continued looking through magazines and killed time laughing at celebrities.
Eventually we jumped in the cars and drove over to get the kiddos. As we waited in line I was filled with anticipation. I felt as excited as I had the night I went into labor. I get to see her! She will be right before my very eyes SOON! I took out my camera and looked up to see Mrs. Elliot. She gave me a big smile and a thumbs up!
Belle walked out the door with the director and I snapped a picture. I drove up and continued snapping pictures. Belle saw me and her little face simply lit up! She had a huge smile as she climbed in the car. Mrs. Elliot said she did a wonderful job. She said that she acted like a pro who had done this before.
We pulled up, took pictures, chatted with Donna and Ashlynn and were on our way home. She told me about her day in the car and showed me her craft. She LOVED being on the playground and said she got to ride a bike out there. She played with new friends and had a great time.
When we got home she was exhausted and ready to see Calliou on TV. I fixed her lunch and called her when it was ready. We ate together and talked about her day some more.
I enjoyed our first "after school lunch" and thought back to the days of grilled cheese and tomato soup with my mom after preschool. I can hardly believe that I'm in this stage with our daughter. Time is flying....God, please hold my hand as I take this journey called motherhood.