Greta had a great first day at kindergarten, from what I can tell. Her teacher, Ms. Hyme, seems kind and sincere. The principal, Cindy, however, seems like she loathes children. Today, she lectured all of us parents during a 3-hour orientation about all the things we better NOT do this year. Just being in the cafeteria, sitting at those miniature tables, being harped at reminded me how much I despised school.
It was a perfect sunny, cool morning at the bus stop, and Greta seemed excited. When she boarded, the driver alarmed her by bellowing, WHAT GRADE IS SHE IN? WHAT’S HER NAME? GRETA! YOU NEED TO SIT IN THE FRONT! So Greta couldn’t sit with her friends; instead, she had to sit with a boy she didn’t know in the seat directly behind the driver.
In the cafeteria, we sat with her, her class and their parents while she ate her packed PB&J. She doesn’t know anyone in her class from preschool or from our neighborhood. There are twice as many boys as girls in her class, and it seemed like the girls were already pairing up. She, however, didn’t seem to notice.
The 20 minutes we spent in the cafeteria playing the ‘who will sit and eat lunch with my child?’ game — not watching her get on the bus — was the only time I got teary-eyed. Barrak rolled his eyes. It’s only the first day! he said. I know he’s right.
This year, she will learn to read. She will ride the bus for the first time. She’ll be in class full days instead of halves. She will pack a lunch and eat in a cafeteria and sometimes place an order from the cafeteria ladies without any parental input. She will have homework.
She will also learn how to make new friends and navigate social situations without mama and dada.