as i lay in bed on sunday night, tossing and turning, i couldn’t help but recognize that feeling. you know, first day of school jitters. there’s nothing like it, and no other butterflies/anxiety/nervousness feels quite the same. it’s been a very long time since i felt it, and it was pretty weird to feel it in the context of being the mom. it made me a little nostalgic even, because even though i always had first day jitters as a kid and young adult, i was always overwhelmingly more excited than nervous. i have alwlays LOVED school. for a while in grad school, i thought i would spend my life in academia, the most brilliant of all the bubbles. but i digress.

yesterday, i walked abel and ozzy into their very first classroom and their very first teacher, ms. corazon, was right there with a welcoming smile and some pretty awesome construction vehicle stickers. it was love at first sight. i had to interrupt them playing with wooden trains to say goodbye. it was a non-chalant moment at best. they clearly didn’t want to be interrupted. i walked out of the room and into the director’s office to finish some paperwork and write a heartstopping check, but i didn’t get very far before the water works started. i sat in her office and balled in her arms. i balled as soon as i got in the car (it didn’t help that “landslide” was playing on the radio – damn you, universe! as if i needed any prompting!). i balled two mintutes later while recounting everything to jordan. i balled talking to my mom 10 minutes later. and more crying while on the phone with nana.

the teacher called at 10am to report the boys were doing fantastic. ozzy was in the middle of all the action as if he’d been going to school every day of his life. abie was being more of an observer (as he often is), scoping out the goings on and all the players, and staying close to the teacher. i was told to pick them up at 11am. their first day at school had passed awfully fast for me!

i arrived at their classroom door to witness such incredible cuteness, i just about died. there were my two boys, sitting in the circle with all the other children, singing a song about all the children’s names. they were going one by one, getting up in the middle of the circle to say their name and everyone would sing a little ditty afterwards. they were so happy, so entranced by the activity, so willing to participate and be a part of this new found tribe. i was so elated. we drove home and i got an earful about their day. what they ate, what they did. children’s names. it was a cloud nine experience. a landslide victory.

the teacher warned me this could all be a honeymoon and tomorrow or the next day would prove difficult. kids realize that school is part of the routine and that saying goodbye to mom is inevitable. unhappy times. when i took abel out of the car this morning and we all started walking to the front door, he kept crying, “our car! our car!” there were some tears when i said goodbye to him, but ozzy was just fine. the guide, ms. alex, was awesome in swooping up abel and distracting him while i walked out.

i did some leisurly grocery shopping while sipping a latte (devine!), stopped for some gas, and as it was 10am, wondered when i would hear from their teacher. my cell rang on my way home and it was a glowing report. the boys were doing amazing. abel settled down quickly and he was as engaged as ozzy was in the class activities. they both were doing an art project. and they were good to stay and eat lunch there. i should pick them up at noon. i was waiting at a stop sign, relishing in this great news, as i turned to my left to see a massive pickup coming towards me like a mac truck. i screamed and moved to towards the passenger side as he barrelled into my door. i’m fine, the other driver is fine. the right side of my car is crumpled and my door barely opens and closes. we’re now in the lovely throws of talking to insurance companies, adjusters, volvo repair and trying to figure out the logistics of having one car out of commission for the time being.

i love school even more now. thank god they were there, and not with me. i don’t think they would have been injured, but i can’t imagine how scary that would have been for them! and thank god for nana, who was over in a jiffy and is letting us borrow her car for the time being. she came with to pick the boys up from their second day of school, and they were so thrilled to see her. they were equally excited to introduce her to their new favorite person, “teechee.” they said goodbye and night-night to all their new friends (who were getting ready for their nap), blew kisses, waved to the fish and the birds in the hallway. off home we went, driving very slowly and carefully.

right now i’m blown away at how well these first days have gone. they have exceeded my expectations in every way. this may be a honeymoon for me too, but so far any negative feelings or hesitation i had about the school have been erased. the teachers and staff have been loving, gentle and patient. with the boys and me. and i’m proud to say that, at least for the time being, my boys love school just as much as i did.

abie and ozzy on their first day of school.

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