Friday, August 17, 2012

Hola, Kindergarten!

So much to write as usual, but let's start with the most important:

Talia started kindergarten! (Brooklyn began second grade as well, but I don't have any pics yet so we'll talk about that cutie later.) Like Brooklyn, Talia is enrolled in a dual immersion Spanish/English program at Dixie Sun Elementary. Even though it's an all-day program, she's transitioning marvelously. She and Brooklyn walk hand-in-hand to the bus stop in the morning, and Talia is all smiles when I pick her up in the early afternoon. (The first couple weeks involve lots of kindergarten testing, so the wee ones get released early.)

Here's a photo of Talia after arriving home on her first day. I'm only accountable for what her hair looks like before school. I think today we may be headed to JCPenney for a free haircut.
Feeling kinda funky. Notice the gap in her smile? Talia lost her first tooth a few days before school started.
A close up of the lost tooth, in case you really care.
And just so you know, when I say this tooth is lost, I mean it in the most literal sense. It's hanging out somewhere in Omaha, Nebraska, most likely in the home of NomiAnn and Papa Kay. Talia decided to hold onto it to play with instead of cashing it in with the tooth fairy. The next day it disappeared in the midst of the kids' imaginary adventures. Fortunately, the missing tooth doesn't seem to have disturbed their fantasies. At this moment both of the girls are dressed in leotards and tutus playing "tooth fairy." Despite the fact that a few tears were shed when Brooklyn tried to convince Talia to portray the evil tooth fairy, life is happy now that we've clarified that all tooth fairies are kind.
Back to the back-to-school point, Talia's learned to always keep her eyes on the teacher.
Simply sweet.
In truth, sending Talia off to kindergarten has been easy--almost embarrassingly so. I feel a little guilty for not feeling more concerned or anxious or emotional. After all, my stomach was all knots when we let Brooklyn go: shouldn't I care about Talia just as much?

Yet when I think back, our current situation is quite different from our first kindergarten experience. When we sent Brooklyn off to kindergarten, I knew practically nothing about the school or the area. We'd lived in St. George for a grand total of 2.5 days, and knew no one. I remember feeling panicked when asked to fill out a Student Information card because there wasn't a single person I could list as an emergency contact. I remember gazing around at all the other parents waiting to pick up their children, praying that someone would smile and say hello, because more than anything, I needed a guide, a friend. It was an anxious, lonely time for us all.

This time around, I know the school. Talia knows the school. She's tagged along with me for so long that its halls hardly seem unfamiliar. She recognizes her teachers. She knows some of her classmates. And standing by her side, guiding her through the whole process, is her sister.

This time around, I don't need to stand around with all the other parents waiting for kindergarten pick-up. With Brooklyn there to pave the way, Talia can ride the bus, and she needn't ride alone. And if I did pick Talia up, I would be greeted by a few smiles and many familiar faces. While it's taken a long time, we are gradually building a small network of friends that we trust and can rely upon. When I wasn't there the very first morning, another Mom noticed and took a photo of Brooklyn and Talia together. Because that's what friends do.

Looking back, even though I don't need to pick up Talia today, perhaps I will go anyway. Because I remember how lonely it can be. And perhaps, just perhaps, somebody else needs a smile.


Anonymous said...

Back to school memories are special. I'm so pleased for all of you ... particularly two grade school scholars and friends. I'm willing to bet Talia is not the only one in her class who is missing a tooth or two.

Anonymous said...

Those pictures of Talia are so wonderful! She does look so sure of herself & she seems to have so much self-esteem! What a plus for her school years!!

Crys said...

So cute! I felt a lot better about sending gigi off then I did E as well. I mean still anxiety because it is me after all, but much more relaxed and a lot of it was the fact that she has her older brother. Ever day when they get on the bus and ever day when they get off I know he's been keeping an eye out and that even makes me feel a little better for him :) I'd love to come and see you guys. One of these days I'm getting out of here for a trip!

Julie L said...

She definitely has the modeling bug! Can't believe the kids are already in school. At least the schools there are probably air conditioned, right? Such smart little ladies!

Callie said...

Congratulations Tally Wally! You're the smartest, cutest, and most lovable Kindy Kid I know! I'm betting she's going to keep all of those kind tooth fairies on their toes from here on out.

Susie said...

It looks like Talia is excited and ready to be in school. We're glad she's liking it and adjusting so well. I remember it being hard to send Christy off to kindergarten and much easier to send the rest. I think that first one being sent out into the "world" is a little tough. Then when it's time for the next one to go we realize that it ended up being a good experience for the first one and that everyone survived the first time around. It definitely helps to have an older sibling around to help. Way to go Talia! We're looking forward to hearing your Spanish!