Top to bottom: wearing Fluco colors and ready!; Leo had to have a backpack, too; on the way to the bus stop; boarding the bus.
Aidan's first day of Kindergarten was, by all measures, a complete success. Both kids were up well before the alarm went off - the upside is that they got to see Jeff before he left for work; the downside is I had no chance at my morning coffee before their excited shouts and general bounciness demanded my attention. The 45 minutes before we left for the bus stop went by in a blur. I had to coax Aidan to get ready a lot more than I usually do, because he was so excited and therefore so distracted. (If this isn't Jeff reincarnate, I don't know what is.)
We left for the looooong (.7 mile) walk to the bus stop and enjoyed holding hands and looking for birds en route. Leo was content in the stroller, and we arrived in plenty of time. The walking, the waiting for the bus to arrive was very surreal; we'd practiced walking to the bus stop before, pretending to see the bus pull in around the bend, but I always had Aidan's small hand grasped in my own on the return trip. My feet felt heavier with each approaching step.
I don't think it really hit Aidan that he had to board the bus all by himself until he was standing in line, and then a look of real fear overtook his face. That was very hard for me. He was so brave, hopped right on that bus and introduced himself to the driver, then sat down with his buddy Logan. They sat on the far side of the bus, however, so I didn't have a chance to wave as the bus pulled away. It's probably best, though, because by that point I was really struggling to stay composed. As the bus finally made its way to the next stop, both Leo and I burst into tears and sobs. I held him, and neighbors said kind words to me, all knowing what it was like to be in my shoes. I walked home, empty handed.
The hands on the clock creeped by all day long, until finally, finally it was time to pick him up. He hopped off that bus looking taller, prouder, older - and scurried right into my waiting arms for a big hug. When we asked him for the "best and worst" parts of the day, he could only come up with "bests." "I really like it!" he proclaimed.
I'm so grateful to all of the people who helped to make Aidan's first day such a complete success, including our neighbors, my parents, our supportive friends (especially Clancy!) and of course, his teacher, Mrs. Hinkle.