Monday was Jax’s first day of 1st grade, and to say he was thrilled would be a vast understatement.  He has never been ready so quickly or so enthusiastically to go anywhere before in his life.

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I think part of it was the shirt, which he chose and I allowed, even as I nicely asked for a new shirt, just for the first day.  But if he is going to grow into the independent soul he is destined to be, I suppose I can let the kid pick out his own clothes.

All five of us dropped him off and escorted him to his classroom, but it was more because we wanted to celebrate him and be part of the commencement of something so great, not because he needed any hand holding.  Hugs were perfunctory and joyful, but I still savored mine.

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Every day since I have heard a litany of reasons why 1st grade is so much better than kindergarten, from one student being named The Big Cheese each day (he is waiting his turn with bated breath), to the fact that he can read as many books as he wants! at rest time, to the new special pencil his teacher gave him and so on.  The second morning he climbed into bed to snuggle me and said, “I don’t think I need breakfast today, Mom.  Let’s just go right to school.”  Willing to miss a meal to get to school faster? 1st grade really must be a special place indeed!

Em had a short orientation yesterday and her first full day was today.  I am counting the minutes until I pick her up to see what I hope is a glowing face bursting with exciting news.  She asked to take a shower this morning rather than a bath last night so her hair would be “extra bouncy,” and picked out a very sparkly outfit all on her own at Carter’s, with her brand new Frozen backpack.

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Again all five of us made the trip to school, and we walked together into school, holding hands in the parking lot, everyone’s backpack filled to the brim with necessities (including Little H’s, who insisted on putting some snack and a juice box in Em’s old one so she could bring one, too).

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Jax gave us a quick “Bye!” and hurried into his classroom, then we went into Em’s room (which we know and love because it was Jax’s last year) and helped her get settled, which beyond a little hand-holding, she didn’t really need.

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After hanging up her backpack and putting her lunch in the correct spot, a friend asked her to join her to do Play-Doh, and with an extra hug and a smile, she ran off to join her.  JDubbs and I looked at each other and realized our work was done.  We have shaped them into the sweetest, smartest, bravest little people we could, and now we have to let them grow.  Watching Jax happily writing at his desk across the hall and Em shyly talking to her tablemate next door, I think we did a pretty great job.

Oh, and meanwhile, this one and I have been having a very lovely day together.

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Time for Little H to get the spotlight she so richly deserves! A new beginning for everyone!

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