Dudes’ Day is down to two little dudes

For the remainder of this school year, Dudes Day will now consist of just three: me, Graham, and Austin.

Today, August 31, 2016, Nolan, looking and acting like a kid at least twice his age, began kindergarten. My emotions ran the gamut from excitement about him loving school to the sadness of not having my first dude with me all day, every day to hopeful he learns to read and write and make lasting relationships to worrying about jerks being mean to my five-year-old who doesn’t have a bad bone in his body (except kicking the crap out of Graham on occasion).

He’s a sweet, sensitive little dude who has been getting rather emotional lately over little things that never really bothered him before. Our thoughts are that he’s got a lot on his mind, like starting kindergarten in a new school, despite his cDSC_0733laims of being ready.

He loves the idea of going to school, on a bus, and seeing his friends. He’s excited about his teacher. He’s excited at the prospect of learning to read and improve his writing skills.

Last night he was super-excited to put his ready confetti underneath his pillow for a good night of sleep even though Graham had him up later than usual, rambling incessantly about who knows what.

This morning he was equally excited to actually get on the bus to go to school. We went outside half-hour before pickup time to take some pictures and go through the new daily routine. I hammered a nail into a tree towards the end of the driveway for him to hang his backpack on. Before nap time today, I made 90% of the cuts to create a little Leopold bench for him to sit on while he waits for the bus every day.

The bus was 15 minutes late but that didn’t put a damper on things, in fact, it only increased his anticipation. Every time we saw headlights off in the distance he smiled, and once he actually saw the buses lights, the smile on his face was ear-to-ear. Seeing your kid so damn happy for the start of kindergarten (or anything) is all we ask for as parents.

DSC_0730Graham, who’s obsessed with buses, was thrilled that a bus actually pulled up and stopped in front of our house. He didn’t seem to care that Nolan was getting on it to head off to school until four o’clock. Nolan actually ran up the four steps once the doors opened, confidently strode to the 8th row (kindergartener kids are supposed to sit in the front), sat down on an empty bench on the house side of the bus, pressed his nose to the window, and with a huge smile waved goodbye as the bus pulled away.

That’s when it really hit. Linds was teary-eyed with disbelief that her firstborn was headed off to school in a bus. I held it together but had a few tears welling up. Maybe that was from the awful diaper of Graham’s I just got done changing.

Our disbelief/sadness/uncertainty was washed away when Linds got a text from a parent whose son is Nolan’s school best friend that read:

Oh I saw Nolan this morning and he was all smiles then his smile got even bigger when he saw (her son’s name) lol.

So there’s that, which always help ease your worries. He’s due to get home in about an hour and according to the school, the kindergarten kids usually fall asleep on the bus ride home because they’re so exhausted.

It takes a lot to get him to sleep during daylight hours, so I’m curious to see how he is at drop-off.

But yeah, for now, Dudes’ Day with the three boys is over and it’s kind of bittersweet. I’m glad he’s doing something he loves — speaking of that, I stopped off at the local gymnastics gym to get paperwork for him to start a once a week, hour-long class — but at the same time I’m sad my first little buddy is in kindergarten.

I know it’s cliché, but they really do grow up so fast.


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