Getting back into the routine of the school year after the casual nature of the summer break is a stress for everybody. The first day of kindergarten classes for the past two years were very organized. We received a letter in the mail confirming which class our son would be in, and we were given instructions on where to be and who to look for when we arrived.
Going into Grade One was a very different experience. It's far more 'Lord of the Flies' once you've graduated from JK/SK.
Teachers for all grades are spread around the school yard holding signs with lists of kids names on hand. Any teacher can tell you which class your kid should be in, and while some of the teachers are new to the school, they can send you in the general direction you need to go.
It's very exciting. Finding your new teacher is only part one. Parents are meeting or reconnecting after the summer. Kids who haven't seen much of their friends who spent time in summer camps or out of town crowd together and try to figure out who the new kids are.
As a Grade one student, Hudson was far too cool now for goodbye hugs and kisses. After finding his friends, he was thrilled to feel independent from mom and dad and eagerly chatted with his friends from the two Grade One classes that were forming lines next to each other. I did manage to get him to smile briefly for a schoolyard picture.
Picking him up at the end of the day, I could tell immediately that he was exhausted. I had forgotten about how much more the days took out of him. The summer daycare program was so much more casual. Between the sheer number of kids and completely shaken up routine, I understood why Hudson wasn't feeling his usual bubbly self as I picked him up for the day.
We took a beat to gather his things and have a drink of water. In looking around, it was clear that the maintenance staff for the school had successfully updated the colour palette of the school and given the floors a shine that would likely fade over the coming months. The school was immaculate with fresh student name labels on all the hooks and fresh signs for class instructions, some for the kids and others clearly aimed at the parents.
We needed a simple and fast dinner to keep us on track for the evening: Rice, Salad, and some Miami-style short ribs would do the trick.
Welcome, Grade One. We look forward to what you have in store.