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The Last First Day of Kindergarten

I believe in symmetry. I like things in pairs. Things worked out well for me with my kids. Two girls, followed by two boys. I am lucky.

All of my children are three to four years apart. This has kept me hopping for the last decade or so. Baby on my hip at back to school nights, running carpool to three different schools, is busy, busy, busy.

Sometimes the time flies by and sometimes it drags. Sometimes my kids seem the same for a year and then I blink and they are a foot taller.

We’ve made a fuss over each of them on their first day of “real” school. New clothes, new shoes, a special photo to remember the day.

My oldest went to a private Jewish day school for Kindergarten. We loved the school but it was a long drive. Her younger sister was frequently carsick and so we left. Daughter #2 attended the local public school for Kindy. Son #1 went to a charter school. His first day of Kindergarten was possibly the most epic. He broke his foot jumping off the playstructure! After that I was prepared for almost anything.

Son #2, my baby, started Kindergarten last week and I found myself in the same classroom where daughter #1 attended, 11 years ago.  Symmetry. Bittersweet and special. 11 years ago I was the young mom. Now I’m not. I’m somewhere in the middle and it’s an interesting place to be, observing the parents older and younger, more seasoned and less experienced.

I’m older and wiser now. I see the same classroom through very different eyes. But one thing hasn’t changed. It’s still hard to hold back a tear or two on the first day of Kindergarten. I can’t really explain why.  I’m so happy for my son, who is off to school with such excellent teachers. I know he will be in good hands.

No more baby on my hip.  It’s time for me to grab a well deserved cup of coffee with a friend.

Here’s how the last of the firsts went.

  • The Last First Day of Kindergarten! 1 of 15
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  • A Little Nervous on Visiting Day 2 of 15
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    The day before kindergarten officially began, the kids were invited to visit their new classroom with parents 

  • Big Brother Leads the Way 3 of 15
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    My son is so lucky to have a big brother in 4th grade. He already had so many friends and fans and people waving at him and calling his name on visiting day. 

  • Welcome to Kindergarten 4 of 15
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    The teachers decorated the room and set out dozens of books and materials to welcome the new students into their new home.  So much and so little has changed since my daughter was in this classroom, 11 years ago! 

  • Not So Sure About This 5 of 15
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    Yep, that's my boy, making a weird face and not listening to the teacher as she introduces the class to her "Doobie" (Hebrew for Bear). He's thinking.... He's gotta see more before he gets comfy. 

  • I Spy a Lego Table 6 of 15
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    During the classroom visit he discovered the Lego table, and an old friend from Preschool 

  • Just Like Home 7 of 15
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    Even though it's a classroom, there are a lot of the same toys and comforts of home. 

  • So Organized! 8 of 15
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    Of course it's a lot neater than home. I hope my son learns some great habits here! 

  • So Much to Discover 9 of 15
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    I'm so glad that my son is attending a school where learning is an adventure, and a pleasure, every day.

  • The Official First Day Photo 10 of 15
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    Here it is - the "official" first day of school picture, taken on the front stoop like all of his siblings. I love his shirt, his shoes and everything about this kid! 

  • Special Shoes 11 of 15
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    Lightning bolts make you run faster and jump higher. Just the shot of confidence an incoming kindergartener needs! 

  • Lucky Hat 12 of 15
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    Because my son attends a Jewish Day School, the children wear yarmulkes. Over the summer we were visiting Jerusalem and met a grandma who was selling her hand crocheted skullcaps in front of a shop. They were all so beautiful. We picked out this colorful one special, for the first day. 

  • A Kiss, a Hug and a Wave Goodbye 13 of 15
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    On the first "real" day the teachers had us gather in the multi purpose room to say goodbye to our kids. They led them away, happily singing. No tears at all... from the kids!  

  • There Goes My Baby 14 of 15
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    I'm not sure I'm ready to let go! 

  • All Four Out the Door 15 of 15
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    Off they go.. all four kids out the door. 

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