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My house is eerily quiet right now. Both boys started school full time and I have to admit it is strange. We were together all day the entire summer. I got used to the chatter and voices in the house. I actually do better work when there is some background noise around. For now, Pandora Internet Radio and Spotify are my friends.
For five years, I often wondered what it would feel like taking my youngest for his first day of full day kindergarten. I wrote about NHL’s first day years ago, but it seemed less dramatic in my mind. The morning was calm. NHL was excited to see friends and meet the long term substitute that would be in for his teacher. There were no visible nerves, which makes me know we are in the right school now. Then there was JSL. My kindergarten kid was saying his tummy hurt, that he wanted to go back to sleep in my room, and that he was scared. The strings of my heart were starting to tighten.
When we went outside, it was time to do the traditional first day of school photos. The boys cooperated to amuse me.
JSL’s outfit looked vaguely familiar. It really made me wonder why. Since I blogged when NHL started kindergarten, I went back to that post. This is the reason why:
I seriously did not plan that, but it’s kind of funny that I liked the same outfit four years later. Anyway, once we got to school JSL was not smiling as much. Thank goodness NHL was ready to go. We walked him to the back of school and he immediately ran over to say hello to the assistant principal. One kiddo happy and off for his first day of fourth grade.
Then, it was time to take the kindergarten kid to his room. When we arrived in the hall, it was a little confusing. JSL did not want to let go of TechyDad. We were eventually told to head into the room to drop off items into their cubby. When we went back outside of the room, JSL sat next to some other children. The photo below was taken just before one of us ended up in tears.
Yes, JSL started to cry. TechyDad followed him into the classroom as he sobbed. I knew we had to say goodbye and leave. After a bit I walked into the room, nodded to the teacher who was trying to help and told her we would see both of them at the end of the day after he rocked kindergarten.
TechyDad went off to work and when I got to my car my tears started to flow. It hit me that things were going to be different forever. My little guy who had been with me since I left my classroom when he was born was going to school. I knew he was going to be fine, but it still hurt knowing how upset he was.
Thanks to some amazing friends, I was ready with something to greet JSL with after school. This is what was waiting for the little guy when he climbed into my car after his first full day of school.
I knew that JSL was familiar with The Kissing Hand and I wanted to let him know that I had forgotten to do this very important item. I did not kiss his hand or have him kiss mine before day one.
We made sure to do this before going to school for day two. There were less tears, but still an emotional morning. I know things will get better. The smile on JSL’s face when he came out and told me kindergarten was stupendous was all that I needed to hear.
So how do you help your children to adjust to a new school, classroom, teacher, or other item that may be stressful for them?
The fact that my “baby” is heading to kindergarten has hit me hard. By the time JSL starts school after Labor Day, I will likely be a mess. I should stock my car with tissues now. I know that he is ready, but I’m not too sure about me. The little guy has been my side kick for five years now. Sure, he’s been at preschool, but that was different. Suddenly, he’s going to be thrust into a full day of school, soon he will be reading on his own all the time, and there will be homework.
Last week on NHL’s birthday, the boys were in our bed and a photo flashed before my eyes.
This was NHL on his fourth birthday next to his barely three month old little brother. Look how young and innocent they were. Not a care in the world. They simply loved each other and spending time together.
The boys still adore each other. They squabble here and there like all siblings, but there is just something extra special about their relationship. What I love is how they truly look out for each other. NHL wants to teach his little brother everything he has learned in school. JSL wants to take his big brother’s hand and reassure him about everything and model what he is taught.
Of course, when that photo of the boys flashed before my eyes I followed them into the living room. Five years later, JSL was a lot more animated. He curled up on the couch next to NHL to watch his big brother check out all of his new presents. Do you notice someone else wearing something familiar in the latest photo below?
Now, my two boys are going to be heading to the same elementary school to learn, grow, and become independent thinkers. Not only will TechyDad and I help them to follow their dreams, but I know they each have another person in their corner – their brother.
Each time you walk up to a PhotoPass photographer, the experience is different. You never know if they will be serious, silly, or sentimental. As we walked from the front of Epcot back to our resort for the final time, we stopped in the front for some pictures. The photographer did some with JSL and I as we were waiting for TechyDad and NHL to arrive. Then, he kept swapping people out when we were all there. The boys loved how silly he was. When I was editing them for our CD, I thought their pose and the border were simply perfect for each other.
Be sure to stop by Focused on the Magic by clicking on the button above to join in the Disney magic this week.
Last year, while at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, my almost four year old son fell in love with Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Sure, he liked it before we left for Disney. However, dancing around with Sharky and Bones, Mr. Smee, Captain Hook, and Jake sealed the deal. When we got home, he announced that he wanted a Jake and the Never Land Pirates fourth birthday party. Unfortunately, they did not have those items to buy so we improvised with what we had on hand.
For Chanukah, we were able to get JSL some Jake and the Never Land Pirate shirts from The Disney Store. He wore this shirt under his pirate costume for the Disney Junior Swashbuckler Soiree the first evening of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.
His love for all things pirates continued and grew. While at Disney World for the 2012 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, JSL declared that he wanted another pirate party. I think meeting Jake again and having him write a special birthday wish in your autograph book may have something to do with it.
For his actual birthday, we found another new Jake shirt for JSL. Then we noticed that The Disney Store had Jake and the Never Land Pirate twin sized sheets. This was perfect for the new bunk beds. In addition to that, we splurged and got him the little Jake doll to go with the theme.
Now, less than a week away from the party, we are trying to figure out how to make it different. I have new pirate crafts, found a few Jake and the Never Land Pirate party items (not enough), and will be making the cupcakes the same since JSL requested them.
If you have had a pirate party, or have ideas, I would love to know suggestions on items that we may want to add to our second. Leave comments, links, or other items that you think would be helpful. Thanks so much!
Disclosure: Although we paid for our own trip to Disney World to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we were given an incredible deal from Disney. Also note that Disney never asked us to blog about this event. As a long time Disney fan, it is my pleasure to share my experiences from the event.
Dear NHL and JSL,
The other day, I was finally able to get to see the photos that Papa and Nana took with their camera while at Disney World. I saw some of the PhotoPass pictures, but wanted to see more of the candid shots from around the Yacht Club Resort and Disney parks. I have to say, it looks like the four of you had an amazing time exploring things together.
Without the two of you, I am not sure if Nana and Papa would have gone to have photos taken with Buzz Lightyear. Thanks to you being fans, we have the some Nana and Papa took of you alone and some with the four of you. These are priceless memories that I know will last.
They also captured the two of you chilling out on the bus. I think you were likely looking at the ads up above. Most of the time you would point out Doc McStuffins and other familiar characters.
I love seeing your smiles and knowing what a magical time we all had together, even if we were not always with you.
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