Friday was Helen Grace’s orientation half day at St. Agnes (with just 1/3 of the children in her class) to help prepare her for her first full day on Monday. She picked out her pink uniform to wear and was pretty happy to go. Early that morning, she said once that she didn’t want to go, but when I asked her if it was just because it was so early and she’d rather stay in her pj’s a while longer, she said ‘yes.’
On the drive, she told me that if there was a child who was scared, she could sing them Daniel the Tiger’s song, “Grown Ups Come Back.” When we arrived, she was excited to go in but wanted me to hold her. We met one of her classmates in the parking lot- a sweet little girl named Elise who was kind of nervous- so that was a nice ice breaker. John met us there, and HG was pumped to see him and went running to him. She headed to her class holding his hand (and Lovey, of course), but as we got closer, she changed her mind and held mine. She was a little shy but spoke to Mrs. Gossett, her teacher, and Mrs. Blaizel, her assistant (who is French Canadian and they’ll be learning French this year as their language- very cool!). HG soon told me ‘she could try to go potty,’ so Mrs. Gossett helped us find the bathroom. (I was glad we took care of that exploration first thing!) We showed her to her cubby to put up her bag and then around the room a bit, and she was really excited about the sensory table with beans, cups, and scoops. We tried to take some pictures with her, and she only clung to my leg when the camera came out. While she happily played with the house area and play tools, I chatted with Mrs. Gossett for a few minutes, and then I decided it was time to go. HG gave me a big hug and kiss and then walked over to Elise with Mrs. Gossett. I slipped out the door and felt like doing cartwheels with excitement for how well it went- such a relief!
I hadn’t realized how nervous I had been about school starting/first drop off until I walked out of those doors, but no tears were shed by either one of us. Proud mama! I think it helped to have dropped her off there over the summer during camps, but I’m sure the realization will hit me when I have to drop her off on Wednesdays and Fridays and not have her home with me. I have been able to change my work schedule so that I will work school hours (8:15-2:15) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and still be off on Wednesday so that I can continue my Hope Moms Bible study. Plus, she gets out at 2 that day (and 2:45 the rest of the week), so we’ll still have time to go play after school.
When it was time to pick her up at 11:45, I parked and walked in to get her. She was SO excited and immediately (and proudly) pulled out all the artwork they had done that morning. She even agreed to pose for a quick picture, and while she wouldn’t tell me a ton about her day, she was happy about it.
On Saturday night, she asked me to put a St. Agnes ribbon in her hair, and then she ran around the house singing, “I’m a St. Agnes giiirrrrllll!” I guess you could say it’s been a successful transition!
After school, we met Bubba, Granddaddy, and Spiffer for lunch at Thistledome, a beautiful antebellum house in Byhalia next door to my great-grandmother’s house (Popa Frank’s childhood home). I had a wedding shower at Thistledome and took my bridal portrait there, so it has a lot of history for us. We enjoyed lunch and then walked next door to show HG Goodmama’s house. (HG kept calling her Greatmama- that works too!) Very fun and meaningful day!
Same swing that Goodmama used to swing on all the time. I fed a lot of Corn Flakes to goldfish in this pond when I was little! But now there are chickens- HG was very entertained by naming all the chickens.