She had already met her teacher for her incoming assessment, at the open house, and again at orientation this week. That helped tremendously to establish a relationship with her teacher prior to the first day of school.
I'm a sucker for school supplies, so we took care of that weeks ago.
My sister came and stayed with my boys on Tuesday (the first day of school for1st grade and up) so that I could take her to orientation. We learned a little more about what her school day would look like and made sure everything was all set.
I'm so bummed I forgot to lay this all out and take a better pic, but we brought her teacher a little "Happy first day of school" gift. I think it turned out so adorable! We filled this tumbler with teacher essentials, including hair ties, chapstick, hand sanitizer, and a sharpie.
Wednesday was THE BIG DAY, in which she had to go to school all by herself. Her nerves set in (and mine never left) the night before. We had talked and talked about what school would be like, and I really do feel like we got to a point where she just needed to go and experience it. When you have no frame of reference, it is hard to comprehend.
We made her lunch the night before, packed her back pack, and laid out her clothes. I had her help me pack her lunch, so I knew she would eat what was in there. She was so nervous in the morning that she hardly ate any breakfast, which only added to my worries. (But I am happy to report she ate every last morsel of this lunch, minus two orange slices!)
She was keeping herself together pretty well, until the bus rolled through to pick her up. She put on the breaks and was not going. I was anticipating that this would be a hard step, but it was even worse than I had prepared myself for. I ended up having to carry her onto the bus, screaming and crying, and have a neighbor girl sit with her in her seat to block her from following me off the bus. It was the most horrible feeling I have ever felt as a mother, especially knowing that I couldn't get to her for another seven hours. I walked off that bus, straight into my husbands arms, where I sobbed and continued to sob on and off for most of the morning.
I knew she'd be okay, but a small part of me feared that she wouldn't be, so I sent a quick email to the principal and just asked him to call me if she hadn't calmed down by the time she got to school. He did call, but to tell me that he saw her get off the bus and she was happy and laughing! That made me cry again, but brought me comfort to know that was doing well.
Later on in the morning, I got this picture from a friend. It's so funny how the world works, but my friend's cousin lives in my town, and has a daughter going to the same school. That mom happened to snap this pic, my friend saw it and recognized my girl, and then sent it to me. That's Orelia in the window, happy and waving! I was so relived to see that her crying hadn't lasted long.
We made chocolate chip cookies for an after school snack, and finally it was time for her to come home! She was so happy when she got off that bus, and we talked all night about all the fun things she did in school. I am so relieved that she had a great day!