and just like that, kindergarten

September 13, 2011 |  Category:   life

Claudine started Kindergarten last week. I know, I know, already? I mean look at how she was a baby when I started this blog (btw, that’s the FAQ page. Did you know about it? You should check it out before emailing me a question because maybe the answer is there. Not that I don’t like getting emails, but it’s taking me a lot longer these days to answer them. I’m not ignoring you.)

I could tell Claudine was starting to get anxious about the start of Kindergarten as we neared the end of our trip, which made me very anxious about dropping her off at school. Separation for her has never been easy. Mia would try to tell her all about the fun things to look forward to, but she’d just shut down every time we’d talk about it and say that she didn’t want to go.

When I sorted through our big pile of mail when we got home from our trip, I found 2 letters for the girls sent by their new teachers. Claudine seemed thrilled to get that piece of mail and started catching on to Mia’s enthusiasm about the first day of school (Mia was literally bouncing off the walls like it was Christmas because she was so excited). The girls schemed ways in which they could bump into each other in the bathrooms and hallways. By the time Thursday morning finally rolled around Claudine started saying that she couldn’t wait. The walk to school was fine. There was no drama. We got to her classroom and she immediately took some crayons and started decorating the cut out heart that was at each seat (I’ve since figured out that drawing calms her and helps her cope in unfamiliar, stressful situations). She did say very quietly, “I want you to stay”, but only once. After a few minutes more, she gave me a kiss and I left. No big deal. I peeked in through the door a minute later and saw her sitting there quietly, looking slowly around the classroom. And that was it. More of the same the next day.

Whaaat?? No drama? Sheesh. Just when you thought you knew your kids they turn things upside down just to prove you wrong. Not that I’m complaining, of course, but this was a kid who would put a death grip on my shirt as I tried to peel her away at drop off, even as recently as a few weeks ago at camp. I couldn’t be more proud of her and just like that, we have 2 girls in the same school, full time, for the very first time.

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  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag September 13, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Your girl and my girl just became kindergarteners, I didn’t realize they were the same age 🙂 I too, was surprised by the drama-free-ness of it all, on her end and mine. It was Easy Peasy. I think I had a much harder time when preschool began and then when it ended; those two happenings were much more emotional for me for some reason. Congrats on the transition! My daughter thinks she is such a Big Kid now, but I say that 5 is still pretty wee and I can pretend she is still my baby, if only in my mind.

  • Lara September 13, 2011 at 2:43 am

    Sigh. Big heart.

  • alexandra September 13, 2011 at 2:55 am

    Congratulations to Claudine! I still remember my first weeks of Kindergarden. I’d cry when mom dropped me off, then cry again when it was time to go home!

    Your lovely picture is also making me nostalgic for my Brio train set …

  • Jennelle September 13, 2011 at 3:26 am


    Now that Claudine is in school full time has it made your schedules any easier now? I was thinking about you the other day when I was doing the school run. My son just started school for the first time 2 weeks ago and the time between pickup and drop off is just so small…I feel like it’s impossible to get everything I need to get done in that time!

  • Laura September 13, 2011 at 4:33 am

    Good for her and shaving them both in school is such a liberating feeling.

  • Chantale September 13, 2011 at 6:05 am

    Yay, Congrats! Goodbye baby, hello big girl. You must be really proud of both your girls. Yeah, just for not crying & all that stuffs. Will it feel weird not to have at least one kid around the house all day? Enjoy it! And wishing your kids a really awesome school year.

  • Louise September 13, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Your post echo’s one I wrote last week on my blog ( My daughter started her ‘new’ school and my son started playschool – both on the same day. It’s the first time I don’t have at least one of them at home with me. It’s a strange feeling. But like you they totally proved me wrong with how they dealt with the change. These little people can sometimes deal with things better than us parents give them credit for. Since my post I can report that my son made huge progress everyday. I couldn’t be prouder of them.

  • Jane September 13, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Hello Jenna! I’ve never commented on your blog, but this post really got to me. I’ve been following your amazing blog posts for a while now because your posts and life really somehow closely resonates with mine.
    I have an older sister (who I just started a blog with). We’re best friends. Claudine reminds me of me, and Mia reminds me of my older sister. I remember my first day at Kindergarten very clearly, but it’s awesome that as a mother you’ve blogged about it and can look back on this memorable day with your daughters in the future.
    I’m in my undergraduate years of college and my sister has started working, but we both talk about what kind of mom we would be… I read your blog and, in all honesty, am further inspired, motivated and excited for what the future holds.
    Thank you for being so honest, genuine and unique with your blog. I look forward to your posts on a daily basis. I only know your family via your posts, but I admire you and your family a lot.
    Wishing you all the best!

  • lyn September 13, 2011 at 10:56 am

    woo-hoo! congratulations! what do you think about the public school system?

  • Karmen September 13, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I just want to say that I love your stories.

  • Carolyn September 13, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Aww, what a huge step forward into who Claudine is going to become in life! Hopefully she enjoys school and feels some comfort from having her older sister there. So ridiculously cute that the girls tried to plan how to see each other during the school day.

    Just wanted to say I don’t ever/often comment but I love your blog and the honesty you share as a parent.Your photography is inspiring.

  • Sebbie September 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Congrats! Today, I dropped off my youngest, at 4, at preschool and was awaiting the drama that never came as well. What a relief, no?

  • Pamela September 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I’m getting teary just thinking of dropping my kids off at school one day … hooray for C and M!

  • gia September 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    So awesome! I think she will read over this as an adult and be proud!

  • Rowaida Flayhan September 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Congrats to Claudine! Amazing posts and stories Jenna I love reading your blog and looking at your amazing photos. Best of luck and success always. xo

  • Claire September 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    WHOOHOO! Drama-free is always awesome!

    I must say that as someone who’s new to formal teaching, I’ve been getting back-to-school anxiety as well. I used to be a theatre teaching artist who was seen as “the fun one” who whizzed in and out of classrooms (though our work is important too), but being one of THE teachers of a classroom with one group of young people is a whole different ballgame! Tomorrow’s the first full day with my first graders. Here’s to hoping it all goes well.

    p.s. if there was a way to post photos I would totally post a photo of myself at age 4. I looked like Claudine then.

  • gillian September 13, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    that’s pretty much the cutest description of a first day of school ever.

    she’s an artist!

  • joohyon September 13, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    i just started my oldest in preschool this week. i was definitely more nervous than he was and us too, sensitive child but drama free. YAY! hope you can get more time to rest and do what you need to with both kids in school full time. 🙂 congrats mommy.

  • Laura September 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    That is so nice that they are both in school at the same time. My kids will only have one year together at elementary school. 🙁 I wish I would of planned that better!!

  • Nenette September 14, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Hugs, Mama. 🙂 And congrats.

  • Clara September 14, 2011 at 9:40 am

    I love that the teachers sent them letters, but a thoughtful and sweet thing to do! We need more teachers like that Sounds like they’re both in a great place, really happy for you guys.

  • Mieke Zamora-Mackay September 14, 2011 at 9:57 am

    It really does go just like that. Lovely post, Jenna. Enjoy the few extra minutes.

  • Kimi September 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    It must be heart-breaking when a child won’t let you go, with the leg death-grip and the sobs. But I’ve heard it’s also hard when your dear little one scampers off without a look back over the shoulder. How did Claudine get it so right, giving you that single “I want you to stay” that lets you know you will always be needed? And I simply have to state that this photo makes me want to have a toy railroad permanently installed on our living room floor.

  • Lohasrus September 20, 2011 at 12:08 am

    Your wonderful photos give me a sense of peace. Everyone has a special place of their own.

  • Mrs D September 21, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Yay! Go Miss Claudine! Man, she is growing up so fast. This next step in her life will see her take even more leaps and bounds forward.

    Love love loved the girls conspiring to ‘bump’ into each other at school. Having one of of my own, who I love more than anyone else in the world, I can testify that sisterhood is indeed something special!