Saturday, February 23, 2013

The 100th Day of K

Dan and his classmates celebrated their 100th day of Kindergarten yesterday.

My first thought, as I helped Dan count out 100 pennies to bring for the celebration, was, "Whoa! Where did the last 100 school days go?"

kids with backpacks
Day 1: September 4, 2012

My second thought was, "Wow! I can't believe how much Dan has learned in 100 days."

On Day 1, the only word could reliably read and write was his name. Now, I bet he can read and write almost 100 words. And what he doesn't know from memory he can sound out pretty darn well. I have been absolutely impressed with his progress. I tell him all the time when he's reading to me that I didn't learn to read until I was in first grade. (This supports my theory that each generation ends up smarter than the previous and contributes to Glen's fear that we, as parents, don't stand a chance if our children are smarter than us. And it makes Dan smile real big.)

Dan reading a book
Day 100: Reading by himself

Dan has learned numbers and math and science and technology skills, too. But he's also learned some pretty important life lessons, like how to not lose your mittens on the playground, how to hold a lunch tray without dumping your food on the floor, and how to ride the bus. (I'd like to say he's learned how to keep his hands to himself and mind his own business, too, but he's still perfecting those skills.)

Dan getting off the bus
Day 1: First bus ride

I drove Dan to school on the first day, since Monika had her first day of pre-school as well. So, his first time on the bus was the ride home from school that first day.

I waited in the driveway for the bus to arrive, camera in hand. When the bus did arrive, I could barely see through my tears to take a picture. (It was only 40 days later that I could watch him get on or off the bus without crying. It's such a big step to get on that bus – both literally and figuratively.)

When I wrapped my arms around Dan in a welcome-home hug, I told him, "Dan, that was your first bus ride."

Breathless with the excitement that only the first day of school can create, he said back to me, "That was the first time I stepped on the road!"

Apparently, he actually was listening to all of my lecturing about staying away from our busy road.

Speaking of listening...

During my first opportunity to help in Dan's classroom, I was shocked to see that he could actually sit still and not talk for extended periods of time. At first I thought maybe he hadn't fully woken up yet. Then I decided it must be a magic spell his teacher casts over the class, because he certainly isn't capable of that at home.

Dan waiting for the school bus
Day 100: February 22, 2013

While Dan and his friends were celebrating, I had my own little celebration of the 100th Day of Kindergarten.

Why? Because making it to the 100th Day means we have survived 100 school-night bedtimes and 100 get-ready-for-school mornings. Before Dan started school, I could worry myself into a panic about how on earth I was going to get the kids to bed on time and get them ready in time to catch the bus. The new schedule was an adjustment for all of us. During the first couple weeks, Monika would fall asleep in the skidloader at 5 p.m. and sleep until the next morning.

It also means that Monika and I have made it through 100 days of missing Dan. Before school started, I couldn't imagine how much we would miss him while he was gone. On the first day of school and pre-school, I picked Monika up after her class was over, but when we got to the van, she refused to get in. She didn't want any part of going home without Dan. It was many, many days later before she seemed to feel comfortable at home without her best friend. I know, because I must have answered her "How many minutes until Dan will be home?" question at least 15 times a day.

And, finally, it means that we've made it through the mornings of waiting for the bus in the dark. The days are getting longer and in 80 short days or so, Dan will graduate from Kindergarten. Where does the time go?

Dan waiting for the school bus
Day 100: Only 2,240 more days until graduation for the Class of 2025

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