Scout Store Lady to Alexander: You are a Tiger Cub? Alexander: Yep! Scout Store Lady: Wow, you are a big Tiger Cub! Alexander: Well, I will tell you why. I am six years old! Scout Store Lady: Well, you are a big six-year-old! Alexander: Well, I am good at growing.
I am now the proud parent of not one but TWO school-goers! Jack started preschool! He is going to the same preschool that Alexander went to, and it is nice to see some familiar faces there.Jack will be going to school two mornings each week. I think he vaguely remembers dropping off and picking up Alexander, which helps to ease his transition. On his first day of school, they had a shortened day and the parents stayed for the entire time. I think this is a great way to help the kids ease into their new school. Jack was very excited, paid attention to his teachers very well, and had a great time. He played with Play-Doh for his entire "free-play" time on that first day, but he enjoyed himself, so that was all that mattered to me! He's since gone to two solo days and done absolutely wonderfully. The first day that he would stay alone, I stayed in the classroom for just a couple of minutes while he settled in, then told him that I would stay for one more minute and then go home for a while. He said, "I not scared you leave." I am very proud of my big, confidant boy who knows that Mommy will always come back. He came out of school quite pleased with himself and has had only good things to say. Whenever anyone asks him how preschool is, he answers, "Awesome!"
I can only hope that his good attitude, good behavior, and enjoyment of preschool continue, and I have no reason to believe that they would not. It is still bittersweet for me, and I still miss my little boy when he is at school, but it makes all the difference in the world to know that he is really enjoying himself and thriving there. He's a star.
Jack had a super hero birthday party this year. Justin and I designed monograms for each of the kids, printed the design out on iron-on transfers, and made them brightly-colored tee shirts. They also got matching wrist bands to complete their outfits. We set up a little "super hero skills test" in the basement (after a week of rain, it was a mud pit outside) and the kids had to go through a tunnel filled with balls, go around or jump over cones and a "tall building," grab the "sword of power," and rescue a baby from a cage, then take the baby back through the course to safety. They seemed to enjoy this and were presented afterwards with Certificates of Awesome for successful completion of the course. Jack had a wonderful time with his friends and family and spent most of today enjoying his new toys. Thanks to everyone who came!
On August 29th, Alexander returned to school to start his first grade year. He was very excited because this year he is in Mrs. Michael's class! As a kindergartner, Alexander would join Mrs. Michael's first grade class for about an hour and a half each day, so he already knows and loves her. She is an excellent teacher and I am thrilled that he is in her class this year. He has about four friends from last year in his class (there are six first grade classes, so there are a lot of kids to shuffle!). He is excited to work on a self-portrait in art and play instruments in music. We're really hopeful for a successful year with fewer bumps along the way than last year, and we know that Alexander will learn a lot.
Today is Jack's fourth birthday! It seems unfathomable that my little blondie-bear is already four years old. He's become such a big boy and he is really an incredible sweetheart and an amazing brother to both Alexander and Kai. One of the most touching things for me as a parent of these three beautiful boys is seeing them love each other. Jack has a special place as the middle child and I think because of that, he is able to most easily have close relationships with both brothers. Kai is forever tackle-hugging Jack, and Jack is almost always willing to return the hug. Kai likes to bop Jack on the head and announce, "Jack!" Alexander remains, of course, Jack's best friend. I pretty much melt every time I overhear them spontaneously tell each other that they love one another. Today Alexander sang Jack a special "Merry Birthday" song, the last line of which was, "I love you." This morning, when discussing the possibility of presents being opened, Alexander hoped that Jack would be in the mood to share his presents. Jack immediately said, "I don't want you to be sad; I will share my presents." He would give the shirt off his back to his brother and is forever sharing far more than we would require as fair. He really is just a huge sweetie who loves his brothers (and parents!) intensely. Jack's favorite color is blue. His favorite food is bagels with strawberry cream cheese. He loves superheroes, Super Mario, and Legos. He hates eating anything "yucky." (Which, to him, is most things.) My favorite Jack-phrase is "That what I were talkin' 'bout." He still sneaks into my room almost every night and crawls into bed with me. He's a fabulous dancer, loves wearing costumes, and misses Alexander fiercely when he's at school.
We did not, in fact, fall off the face of the planet. We've been busy enjoying each other, our friends and family, and our summer vacation. From our list we only completed a few more items: practice football (#8), go to the Bouncy Place at the mall (#26), do sidewalk chalk (#36) and ride bikes (#43). As always, however, we really just enjoyed our time together. Aaaaaaand, that's a wrap!