First Day, Check!

Well folks, we did it.  The sun rose again this morning, Ava came into our room at 6 am crying over a bad dream, the first day of preschool beckoned and we still managed to have a pretty stellar day! 
I went to bed with a headache last night, after shedding some rounds of tears over this whole "releasing your child" thing that totally crept up out of nowhere and had my heart in knots this weekend. But by the grace of God, even though I woke up to my girls' tears, I took that opportunity to get an extended time of snuggling and giggling early this morning which was the medicine both of us needed! 
Before I knew it, we had our new, first day outfit on, complete with a feathered headband and glittery shoes, and this little pre-K girl was ready to pose!  
Along with her quirky new backpack!  I can't believe she chose this one, but she did and I love it! 
I asked Ava if she was a little nervous while I stooped to tie her shoes.  She said, "Yeah, I'm just a little bit nervous, but I'm ess-cited about my first day too!"  Thank you Lord... Her excitement was exactly what I needed to feel totally calm and "ess-cited" for her  :) 
 The official 2013 #obligatorysignpose is in the books!  
While I was busy getting Ava to pose and making sure she had everything we needed, Carter ran to get his golf clubs and then told me, "I want to take my picture by the door too!  My golf clubs want to say cheese!" Hilarious!  That should have tipped me off that he may have had some internal struggling going on, but I was too busy getting a kick out of him and agreeing to take his picture.  That is a request I will never turn down!  
 Daddy met us at school for a hug and so he could see her classroom and take in the first day scene.  
 At this point I was feeling pretty proud of myself for not falling apart or shedding a tear.  
I love this pic so much!  My heart is full tonight, although I look at her here and wonder how it is that I blinked, looking away for just a second, and the baby girl I took home from the hospital is suddenly big enough for mornings away from her Mama??  Time... It is a funny thing.  
 What I'm about to explain to you now, unfolded in the series of following photos and took us totally by surprise.  I've been telling Carter all along that he and Mommy were going to have so much fun together and do lots of fun things while Ava was in school, but apparently as reality began to sink in for him, suddenly he was very aware that his big sister was about to stay at school and we were not staying with her.  
 He started begging me, "Please can I stay wif Ava?  I want to go to preschool too!  I wanna be wif Ava!  But I'm big Mom and I love Ava!"  It was derailing quickly and I was trying to help him through it, all the while thinking "Are you seriously falling apart over this buddy??"  I'm the one who should be choking back sobs here, not you!!
 This is just seconds before he burst into tears and sobbed on Trav's shoulder.  I was doing very well with letting Ava go, but my heart was breaking again for poor Carter.  
In the chaos of tears and disappointment, I barely got a good-bye from Ava.  She simply walked into her room after a kiss and that was it!  She was off and I stood there for a second, fighting the urge to run in after her, but then realized that I needed to be off too.  She was ok and we were doing this!  
Besides, I had my hands full with this little guy, taking him to the bathroom to console him and try to defend my reputation as "ultra fun Mom!"  He was a good distraction.
It took a few minutes and the promise of a donut to get him to believe this whole day wasn't a complete loss!  As my Mom said, "Poor guy, his little life got wrecked today!"  
We pulled out of the parking lot and my car automatically drove us to the nearest park.  I knew his first day blues could be easily cured by the sight of a slide and some sand.  And I was right.  We had the whole park to ourselves for an hour and then we made a trip to Costco together.  He had too much fun to miss Ava, which was exactly what I was hoping for.  I know we are going to really love these mornings together! 
Before I knew it, it was time to head back and pick up Ava!  I was dying to see her in her class and instead got to watch the back of her head  :)  
She had a great first day and came home starving and exhausted!  She told me she wanted to go back to "Sunshine Preschool" tomorrow, which made my heart happy for her. 
All afternoon and evening, Carter was especially happy to have his best friend home again.  It's a new adventure for all of us, but adventures are good for the soul, right?  We will all adjust to our new normal and I'm hoping some mornings apart will make for some peaceful afternoons together.  I will also add that upon dropping Ava off, my baby fever has now reached an all time high!  It was WAY too quiet in my minivan and I just know Carter would love to make room for a new sibling in there!  Especially when it dawns on him that Ava will be in school every day next year... For now we all just need to take this one day at a time, right??

Thanks for you prayers!  We had a great first day and I'm off to bed to prep for another school day tomorrow!  I think I'm just as exhausted as Ava and I'm not even the one in school :) 
And just think, I only have 16 or so more years to do this!  

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