I rolled over and looked at my clock- why do I always wake up before my alarm? It had been a long time since I had set an alarm; usually my kids were more than enough. But today was the first day of school and we had to be out of the door by 7:30- their usual 7:00 wake time would not suffice.
The morning zipped by. Lucas kept telling me how excited he was. I kept saying that's awesome, all while trying to suppress the butterflies in my stomach. Why was I nervous? I wasn't the one going to school- we had done this last year- now he was a first grader.
We loaded into the car and headed towards the school- very slowly as the road was backed up past our subdivision, we had to wait to even make it onto the road. We found a spot along the street and made the long hike up the hill. We entered the gate and went to his classroom. I snapped a quick picture.
A sign on the door told us to head towards the main playground. Hundreds of kids waited on the black top in lines behind cones with their teachers' names. Ryder got bored sitting in his stroller; I held him while trying to snap a few more pictures.
A few minutes before the bell was going to ring Lucas' teacher came out and introduced herself to each student. "She seems really nice" Lucas said to me and I whole heartily agreed. The kids were dismissed and many of the parents followed to the classrooms. This was new to me as Lucas' previous school just had the parents leave.
Lucas found his place at a long table, they began making the letters of the alphabet with play dough and went row by row to put their snacks and lunchboxes in the right place.Lucas picked one thing from the extra large snack I had packed him and put the extra food in with the other lunches. Lucas would be buying his lunch for the first time- the money safely zipped in his pocket. The teacher began reading a story and all of the parents quietly excited. The butterflies had vanished.
Alex and I went home- the house definitely seemed quieter- though definitely not silent as Alex took full advantage of the almost solo time with me.
The time quickly passed- as Mondays are early dismissal days. We loaded back in the car- once again hardly able to make it out of our subdivision. I turned on the street to join the line of cars for the pick up line. The line went on forever and was not going anywhere. I flipped around and abandoned the line and found a place to park. We cut through the bus parking lot and walked up to his school. We said goodbye to his teacher.
I asked Lucas how his first day was. He was very quiet. Tears began to well up in the corners of his eyes. I had flash backs to last year when he sobbed as he didn't want to leave. But this seemed different. He didn't say anything. He then reached into his pocket and handed me back the money I had given him. "Here's your money." he said.
"What happened, why didn't you buy a lunch?" I pleaded
"They didn't have any; it was all gone."
How could this be- he was a first grader, they had lunch first! I was mad and my heart was breaking for him.
"Did you eat the rest of your snack at least?" I asked
"Yes" he said as a few tears trickled down his cheek.
I mentally went over what I had packed for a snack, cheese-it crackers, a gogurt and a drink box and that was it.
"Well don't worry, tomorrow I am going to pack you the best lunch- I got the new lunch box we were talking about."
This seemed to cheer him up a bit. I asked how the rest of his day went. He was disappointed at the short amount of time for his morning snack, thinking he was going to have time to play and said they did a lot of work- but he was still looking at it through tear-filled glasses from the lunch catastrophe.
We got home and I was ready to call the school to let them know how I felt about everything. I asked him again exactly what happened. As he explained it again, it turned out that his teacher thought he had a lunch- since he had his lunch box with a few extra things and so he missed the time to go get in line to buy lunch. I was grateful I talked with him again before giving someone at the school an earful as it was all a misunderstanding.
Ah first grade- it's a whole new adventure for both of us.