Looking Back on Last Year’s First Day of School

So tomorrow is the girls’ first day of school.  Elaina will be starting 1st Grade and Gabriella will be starting Kindergarten.  While I certainly will be posting about how the day went, when I went back to look over how I felt during Elaina’s first day of Kindergarten a year ago, I realized that I had not even posted about it.  Given that it was an extremely stressful day that also brought out the best in my being a parent, I figured I would share that today.

This feels like it happened a lot longer than a year ago…

The day started off great.  Both of the girls got dressed and I fed them a healthy breakfast.  Elaina did not seem a bit nervous, which was a great sign.

Someone dressed herself for their first day of school

I did their hair and took too many pictures to count.  And of course she wore that oversized skirt and her red cowgirl boots.

Gabriella dressed herself and wanted to pose for pictures too.

It was not until we got to the car that things took a sharp turn downhill.  Apparently, when the girls exited the vehicle the night before, one of them had turned the overhead light on.  Needless to say, the battery on my car was dead.  The first two neighbors I went to for help were already dropping their kids off and the third was in a rush and could not help.  With only about 20 minutes until the first bell and about a mile and a half to Colonel Johnston Elementary School, what was a Dad to do?

Not pictured: Dad crying because his little girl is growing up.

Thankfully, the Army had trained me very well for just this moment.  And as a very proud Dad, I was not going to let Elaina down.  I put Elaina in the stroller, threw Gabriella on my shoulders (because she was much lighter), and started speed-walking/light jogging towards the school.  We arrived about a minute before the first bell sounded, with me completely drenched in sweat.

Best Friends, Same Class!

Of course, once we arrived, every parent there, most of whom I knew or directly worked with, wanted to know why I showed up late, out of breath, and dripping with sweat.  It was a good story, but it meant more to Elaina than I could have ever known: I would do anything to make sure she got to her first day of Kindergarten on time.  After that, it was easy for both of us.  Elaina met up with her best friend, while I just focused on Gabby so that I did not go to tears.

Is it just me, or is she giving me the “Dad, it’s time to let go” wave?

She walked into class with a smile on her face (which was a lot better than some of the other kids) and apparently never asked for me again during class; That was my big girl, my big Kindergartner.  Later that day, I picked her up from school, where she had nothing but exciting things to tell me from class.  It was amazing.  While the start was a little rough, I can only hope that things for both girls go as smoothly tomorrow as they did on Elaina’s first day of Kindergarten.

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Cheers!

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