Today was the first day of school for my oldest two kids. #1 started first grade while #2 went to kindergarten. Each of them went to "Young Fives" before starting kindergarten. What a decision that was! Since their bdays were Aug/Sept, I wanted them to be fully 5 when they started school. On top of that, since they are less than a year apart in age, they could have been in the same grade. There so many "ifs" and "what-ifs" when we were trying to figure out what would have been the best option. Our district has a "schools of choice" option too. So that was a few more choices added to the mix!
As I took my DD to the one hour long "meet the teacher and check out your classroom," I could see how she had grown over the last year as she attended Young Fives. Last year, she would have wanted me nearby. Not really clinging to me, but wanting to know I was around. This year, she took right off, knew what she was going to do and where she was going, even though she is attending a new school.
She has a neighbor friend who is a young five year old starting kindergarten and my DD wanted to show this friend where to go. She held her friend's hand instead of mine. And consequently, the friend dropped her mom's hand and the two girls took off to find each of their classrooms together.
In the classroom, my daughter met a girl who will be sitting at her table this year. These two girls will also be sharing a locker...and I'm sure, they will also be sharing many smiles and laughter together too. They were buddy-buddy from the get go. Deciding which hook to use for their backpacks and which hook to use for their coats. Chatting in line as they waited to tour the school bus. Holding hands as we toured the school. Oblivious to either one's mother.
And oblivious to other things...like race. For this new friend is the only black person in my DD's class. I was more than pleased to see that my daughter looks past skin color when meeting and becoming friends with someone.
But that is what we want, right? Self-assured children who can venture out and learn and grow and develop into strong, happy reliable adults. Based on what I've seen, my daughter is on her way!