Wednesday, August 09, 2006

She's in school!

We woke up, ate, got dressed, and went to school. Brian drove. We got there and walked her over to her teacher, who was trying to console a little girl who was crying for her mother. Jacelyn looked dubious but was fine. I told her goodbye, and we retreated to the car. The entire school meets outside with their class, and says prayers and the pledge of allegiance, before going in to class. We hid behind a minivan like some sort of overprotective parental spies and watched her. She stood still, talked to a little red headed girl named Margaret that she met at orientation, looked around, but....she behaved! Woo-hoo! At one point she saw me, because I had stepped away from my hiding place to talk to another mom, and I waved, and she gave me this look like, "gosh, mom, you're still here?" and almost, I think, rolled her eyes. But then she blew me a kiss, which is what really got the tears going. Promptly at 7:45, Sister Patricia, the principal (and a nun! a real live nun!) welcomed everyone, and said, "When I say, 'good morning students!', you say 'Good morning sister'". Brian was impressed. The good mornings taken care of, they said the Lord's Prayer, the pledge of allegiance, there were a couple of announcements, and the kids headed to their classrooms. Jacelyn's class, who are tiny little things, were told to walk slowly and carefully in line. Jacelyn, listening for once, was walking so slowly and carefully that she was a good five feet behind the girl in front of her and was actually passed by another little girl. She was being so good. I'm sure that's just because it's new, but she really was being good and wasn't upset in the least. She gets out at 11:30 today - they are on half days until next Tuesday - and since I can't be there to pick her up today Brian and Michelle are going to pick her up and bring her up to work to see me so she can tell me about her day.

I just can't help but think about the fact that right now, she is in school. She is outside the realm of parental or family control, completely in the hands of others. Not that I'm worried - I know she'll be fine, but this is the first time I've dealt with that. I've left her with people, obviously, but it was always family. She's kind of on her own, in a way, without one of us standing over her, correcting her manners or her speech, reminding her of the way she should act. I think she'll do fine. She will need the occassional reminder, but she's basically a well behaved child. The only other time she's been away and free to act as she will is when she goes to the dentist (they don't allow parents in the exam rooms, for good reason) and they always rave about her - "She's so polite!" and "What a sweet, good girl!".
I'm clinging to that, right now. She seemed almost timid, which surprised me. I can be shy (yes, I can, really, I promise), but I've never seen that in her.

One of the things that got me, touched me the most, was her talking to Margaret. She's never really associated with other kids. She's been around Cam occasionally (but really, not enough) and she played with Alex (a friend's son, a little older than her) but other than that this is it: her first experience or foray into the world of friends. And her and Margaret were talking quite a bit. I was dying to know what about - I wanted to be a fly on her bookbag, or find some way to unobtrusively sneak up behind them and eavesdrop. What were they talking about? The weather? Their ugly school jumpers? How parents just don't understand? She has a friend! Yay!

I had better get some work done, but I had to post, and I'm sure I'll post again once I talk to her this afternoon. Send her happy, good behavior thoughts!

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