In the car, ready to go to school. The only times I've mentioned school to Matthew were yesterday and this morning. Without any past experience of school though, my mini-talks of school were irrelevant to him. This morning he was just happy to be in the car. He loves car rides. He loves going places. Sometimes he'll bring his shoes to me and say "shoes, car."
Today was his first day of preschool. In a rush leaving our house, I forgot to take photos at home. To remedy that, I took a photo of Matthew in the school parking lot next to his Lightning McQueen backpack and red lunchbox.
Entering one of the gates at school, I felt nothing but excitement for him. I didn't feel sad that he wasn't going to be home with me anymore. I was certainly going to miss him for 3 hours each day but I knew he was ready for more - friends, learning experiences outside the home, teachers other than myself, and most importantly, independence. Bill and I welcomed this milestone with smiling faces, no sad tears. One of his cousins goes to the same preschool but he is in a different classroom. Still, Matthew was very excited to see his Auntie dropping off his cousin T at school.
His initial reaction upon entering the classroom was what I had expected - overwhelmed by the other kids, somewhat bewildered and very unsure of his new surroundings. He covered his ears in an effort to filter everything that was going on. He chewed on his fingers. He looked all around and a few times headed toward the door. He wasn't crying or upset though - just unsure of what to do and where to go. "Have fun. We'll see you later," I said as Elizabeth and I gave him a kiss goodbye. "I'll let you know how he does," said his teacher, guiding him into the center of the classroom to meet the other kids. And feeling unsure of what to do next, I stepped out of his classroom and headed home wondering how his 1st day would go.
No tears! His speech therapist walked with him to meet me at the pick-up area. He had a good first day, I was told. The only time he almost cried was when everyone was waiting to go home. There were a few kids near him that were crying and it was starting to upset him but he held it together. No tears. He was happy to see me and Elizabeth, greeting us with a kiss.
I hope he does just as well tomorrow.