08 September 2010


Today is Oliver's first day of preschool.

Oh my.

This spring Ryan and I spent several weeks discussing our goals for our son for schooling, our practical abilities and resources, our schedules and ideals. We sought council from people we respect and admire. We prayed for the Lord to lead us. And we examined our budget, looking for a way to make room for a tuition payment.

All of these things and more have led us to the decision to enroll Oliver in a remarkable preschool program this school year. We are so thrilled!

As I'm sure many of you can imagine (and relate!), I was a bit of a pacing wreck last night. I'm not sure how many times I brought Oliver's lunch box to Ryan, asking him to look over it's contents and critique my offerings.

I've never packed a lunch box before and I wanted it to be just right. What if I pack too much? Or worse, too little! What if he can't open his string cheese on his own? What if he needs help with his juice box? Will he eat his dessert first or will he know to wait until after he finishes with his sandwich, fruits and veggies?

Suddenly there were so many things to teach him in so little time! I've had him every day for the past (nearly) four years, and we've never talked about how to eat lunch with friends without Mommy around.

What if he forgets to close the door when he needs to go to the bathroom!?

What if he takes his sandwich all apart or does that silly-yet-only-endearing-to-the-one-who-bore-him thing where he eats his bread from the center, out?

I'm not ready for this!!!!!

Nonetheless, Ryan and I woke him up in his bed this morning with a smile and excitement in our voices. We got him dressed, fed him breakfast, and I ran him through a very quick tutorial on how to eat lunch at school. (yes, I really was that worried.)

We took a few photos on the front porch, loaded up in the van and headed out.


I snapped a few photos in the car just in case. And then a few for good measure as we approached the building.


Once we got into the school, Oliver was a champ. He wasn't nervous at all. But (and I thank him for this), he wasn't overly eager for us to leave either.

We walked him into his classroom, he found his name and put his backpack and lunch box where it belonged. He clipped his name tag on his shirt and sat down next to his friend Joseph to color a worksheet before devotions.


Somewhere in between the backpack and the worksheet he just completely forgot we were still there.

As it should be, I know. :)

We snapped a few photos of him in his classroom, followed his class down to El Pueblo for devotions, snapped a few more photos, and watched him adoringly as he learned the sign language for his catechism songs and how to "give me five".


Snapped just a few more photos and then left for Starbucks for our own boo-hoo-brew, as we like to call it.


Of course, as we drove away, I remembered out loud, "I forgot to remind him to close the door when he uses the bathroom!!" Ryan assured me that if he didn't, then someone else would probably close it for him. Oh Oliver, please remember to pull your pants back up before you come out!!

The truth is, as sentimental as we are about sending our firstborn out of the nest for the first time, we are also so tremendously grateful that he gets to do this. As we watched him this morning with his new classmates and listened to his teachers speaking God's word to him, we had no doubt that this was the right place for him this year.

And as we watched how naturally he transitioned from home to school, we had no doubt that this was the right timing for him as well. (God is good to give us peace like that, isn't He?)

At his preschool, the first thing they do every morning is gather all the classes in El Pueblo for devotions. They are gracious to let the eager, camera-toting Mamas stand in the back to watch and worship along with them. This morning the school sang "This is the Day that the Lord Has Made" and I was reassured that today is, indeed, from the Lord.

We have been loving our son and praying for him for the past four years. We have taught him to walk, talk, eat and even use the bathroom. We have taught him to love others and to obey God. We have helped him hide God's word in his heart.

We have asked God for wisdom in training him up in "wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man" and by His good grace, Oliver is the young man he is today. Still flawed, yes. (aren't we all?) But well adjusted, and ready for what lies ahead for him this year in preschool.

We are so grateful. So blessed. And, so eager to go pick him up and bring him home!!!

"This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.

From the house of the LORD we bless you.
The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us.

With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will give you thanks;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
his love endures forever."
Psalm 118:24-29

(Also, because y'all like to know, his sword shirt is from b. children's wear and his red monkey backpack is from Pottery Barn Kids.)


We just got back from picking our little guy up from school.

We arrived a little early with eager plans to take him out for ice cream and hear all about what a fantastic day he had.

When we got to his classroom, I peeked in the window imagining what his teacher would have to report about our smart, funny, obedient and friendly wonder of a son. I searched over the group of kids seated on the floor for a little boy in a green sword shirt, but there was none to be found.

And then I saw him. And my stomach sank.

He was in his "fresh change of clothes".

I turned to Ryan who was standing among the other eager parents with my face pale and my eyes big and mouthed to him, "He's in his back-up clothes!" I was imagining all the horrible things that could have happened.

The worst-case scenario, I thought, would be that he waited too long to ask to use the restroom. How could this be though? He doesn't have accidents!

The best case scenario I could conjure in my racing mind was that maybe he forgot and accidentally squeezed his juice box too hard, thus soaking his clothes.

And then the door opened. And Oliver walked out, handsome and happy to see us saying, "I had a hiccup in my lunch."

Oh no. He threw up. On the first day of school.

He's the "throw-up kid".

I don't know if he's EVER thrown up before but maybe once or twice. (probably why the only word he could think to use was "hiccup")

Turns out, he and one other child just spontaneously "lost it" in the middle of lunch time. No real explanation. It wasn't even one of them reacting to the other. It just happened all at once.

I was initially a good combination of horrified and hugely sympathetic to my little guy who had been sick on his first day of school without his Mommy nearby to comfort him.

Now that we're home (and the shock has had some time to wear off) Oliver has been able to share all the fun things he got to do at school and we're all feeling much better.

This is the day the Lord has made, indeed! Surprise "hiccups" and all, He was the only one who saw it coming! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!! :)

Do y'all have any funny "First Day of School" stories? Do tell!!


Tanner and Lindsay Cooper said...

That is the sweetest story! "I had a hiccup in my lunch" too cute!

The Morrisons said...

Oh my! What are the chances? I love reading this and I love that I got to see you guys this morning. What memories.

Melissa S said...

He is so sweet and that first picture needs to be framed for sure :)
Good job mama on the first day of school! My oldest isn't quite 3 and we hope to start a similar preschool experience when she turns 4. Excited and scared :) This journey of motherhood is an interesting one isn't it???
Thank you for sharing your heart and these personal memories of his 1st day!

Christine said...

Oh, my goodness, I am laughing so hard. He's THAT kid. Haha!

love to you all. and ingloar.

Dress Up & Dinosaurs said...

Oh! This is too cute. I can soooooo relate. 1st, I'm glad to hear that my daughter isn't the only one who eats her bread from the inside out 2. I just sent my 4 year old off to preschool for the first time today. Funny thing is, this was actually her second day of preschool, but the first time she went. Yep, she woke up with the stomach flu on her first day. So I guess she just puked a little quicker than Oliver? Third, reading this made me realize that I forgot to pack a change of clothes. What if she needed them? Ahhhh! Mommy guilt! How could I not send her off prepared? Impatiently waiting for her to get home with my husband.....=)

Megan said...

Oh Raechel, I don't even know you but my 3 year old started preschool last week. It was my first day back to teaching as well, so my hubby took him. Your thought processes SO echo mine from last week. Like exactly. Creepy actually! But, when my dad went to pick C up, he was in his emergency clothes too. My son slip and slided through the class art project. Did not remember it was drying on the floor (but who dries that on the floor with 8 3 year olds in the room...just sayin!) So on tuesday, I replaced his emergency clothes. Fortunately, he said that they all laughed about it. And, I was relieved it was not a bathroom accident as well. Phew! Live and learn.

Jessica said...

When I picked up my daughter on her first day of preschool (2 year olds) she was also in her "back up" clothes. She has been potty trained for a while now, and she NEVER has accidents. Her teacher told me she did not have an accident, but when she went potty the onesie that she unbuttoned fell into the toilet when she sat down. That will be the last time I use a onesie over her panties.

Emily said...

Oh precious boy! I'm so gonna be the mom going over the detail of eating lunches in front of friends! Glad to know I am not alone!

Mary said...

This was so sweet to read! Thank you for the reminder that the day is the Lords and that everything is in His hands.

My first day of school was last year! My mom homeschooled me K-12, so my first time going to a public school on a regular schedule was when I started going to community college. How weird! Now I'm enrolled in two programs and am starting a new job this week. With all the craziness, it's so good to be reminded that everything is in the Lord's hands...not yours or mine! What an awesome God!

maddie/cadesmimi said...

My granddaughter, Madison, went for her first day of preschool yesterday. She had been with her mama 24/7 for nearly 4 years.
My daughter had many of the same thoughts and fears that you did. It's hard to watch them leave the nest, isn't it?
I wrote a short post about Madison's first day, too.
By the way, I'm a long time follower...I just don't comment often. I love your blog :)

Chelsa said...

Glad Oliver had a great first day of school experience (minus the hiccup) :)

You look amazing! So gorgeous! :)

Julie said...

wow, my oldest just started grade 8 but I still remember those feelings from when he first started school. He too was just 3. Thanks for sharing your day:)

Meghan said...

what a sweet post. I have yet to drop either or my children off at school yet but we have been doing daycare drop off and then kids have both down wonderful and I am the one who cries. It is so hard to let go. Thanks for sharing.

Erin said...

I am glad it all turned out ok in the end and that he made it through the entire first day. I can't wait to hear more about his school. I can't wait for Alex to go to Preschool next year!!

love al the pictures!

Jerika said...

I "hiccupped" all over myself during kindergarten, though not on the first day. Don't worry, no one ever mentioned it again. Another kid probably wet their pants and stole my thunder.

Ashley DeLen said...

I just have to say that I just about chocked on my coffee with the giggles from his first day of Preschool.

My little girl is 3 1/2 years old and just started preschool. And we were told that her and one other girl were unpartable. At first I thought it was cute. And then I start worrying. What if my little girl is one of those "click" girls. And then I spent about an hour telling her how she has to invite other little girls to play with her and her friend.

Being a parent is fun and hard and fun. I'm kind of glad that you are sharing that he is attending a Christian Preschool. I sometimes feel overwhelmed that I can not be one of the many homeschooling mommas. But it just isn't happening and I think I'm okay with the way the Lord is leading. And it helps to see other momma's being led in a direction that is similar. Thanks for sharing. And though you might not have thought this post would bring encouragement...It did... So thanks!!!

pinkflipflops said...

as a teacher this is hilarious to me. mainly because at that age we talk to the kids about healthy eating and what to eat first in their lunches. we talk about bathroom procedures and all of those other things that you worry about. it's typical back to school stuff for those young kiddos. that's not to say we don't always have an open door peer or a pants down kid now and then haha

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

Adorable first day of school pictures! I hope he has a great year of preschool!