Flashback faves: Back to school

by DaniGirl on September 5, 2015 · 0 comments

in Ah, me boys

Found this in the archives, published on this day back in 2007: Tristan starting SK and Simon in preschool. Where HAS the time gone? They’re starting grades 6 and 8 next week!

Last night was “meet the teacher” night at Simon’s nursery school. They had an open house, and everyone was invited to drop in, play with the toys, and say hello to the teachers.

Simon was beside himself with delight. His very own big-boy school! The funny part was how excited Tristan was on Simon’s behalf. You can see he delights in his role as the older brother, advising his brother on classroom etiquette (“you have to be quiet during circle time”) and protocol (“this is your cubby, and you keep your coat in here”) … even though Tristan himself never went to preschool.

I had one of those rare and satisfying moments of parental validation as we were getting ready to leave. Simon said he wanted to say good-bye to each of his teachers. The first remembered that Simon had asked about playdough, and promised him it would be there the next day when he came back, leaving him beaming with anticipation. The second one dropped immediately to his eye level when she saw he wanted to speak to her, and took his hand as he said a rather affectionate good-bye. Despite the busyness around her, 100% of her attention seemed focused on Simon’s simple message, and I could see him radiating in the warmth of her attention. The cost, the logistical nightmare of having them both scheduled to start and end at the same time five kilometers apart, the arduous search to find a caregiver who was willing and able to deal with it — all of it was validated in that small but lovely-to-watch two-minute exchange. I made the right decision!! Yay me!


Speaking of the nanny, did I mention I love her? LOVE her. We’re so, so lucky, and she was so worth waiting for. I love her, Beloved loves her, but best of all, the boys love her. And how do we demonstrate that love? By giving her a heart attack the first day she has to pick up Tristan from school.

The vagaries of Beloved’s schedule have him picking up the boys after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so it wasn’t until last Thursday that the nanny had to meet Tristan after school for the first time. I’m not sure whether she went to the wrong door, or whether they just missed each other in the crowd, but for whatever reason, Tristan didn’t see her as soon as he came out the door. So he took a beat, probably not as many as two, and did what was to his mind the perfectly logical thing.

He walked home.

By himself.

Leaving the poor, sweet nanny to have several panic attacks, a couple of heart attacks, and a long conversation in her head about what exactly she would say to me when she called to explain that she had lost my son on his third day of school.

All’s well that ends well. You can actually see our house from the school yard, and after a few false starts, the nanny spied Tristan’s blond head bobbing happily along in the sea of escaping students making their way down the sidewalk. As she related the story to me less than an hour later, I could still see the residual panic in the whites of her eyes, and it was hard not to laugh.

For his part, Tristan was mildly perplexed by the whole incident. “I know the way, Mom,” he said with an exasperation that belied his years. “I’m a big boy now.” I couldn’t bring myself to scold him, but I did reinforce the nanny’s idea that the very next day they were going to go to the school and pick a meeting spot, and that Tristan was NEVER, EVER to leave without her again.

It’s a good thing there’s another baby on the way, because suddenly my babies are all grown up…

I didn’t have any back to school pictures of them from September 2007, but here they are later that autumn.

Pumpkin day

Tristan still talks about walking home by himself that day, and still doesn’t see what the big deal was. 🙂

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