The first day of school was not the same for Mary and Anna although they go to the same elementary school. Since kindergarten is only a half day and the first day for the older kids is only a half day kindergarten starts the day after grades 1-5 do. Kindergartners got to come to school to drop off their supplies and meet the teacher and explore the classroom that day though. They got to see where they sit, where they hang up their backpacks and found their cubby holes. There were two other kids from Anna's preschool last year that were going to the same school as Anna and they are both in her kindergarten class, so that was exciting for Anna. Mary also got to find that there were a few girls from her class last year in her class this year, so that was really good for her since this is only her second year at this school.
Everything went well on the first full day for both the girls. Anna goes in the afternoon session (because the girl is not usually a morning person) but all morning she was asking how long until school starts! Jason was able to come home in time to come with me to drop Anna off. Grandma even came! This was a big deal for all of us, our little miracle girl starting kindergarten! There is a special playground for the kindergarten classes that is closed off, which makes me more comfortable with the whole recces thing. The older kids look like they would squash the littlest kids in school! The teacher came out, asked the kids to line up and took them away when it was time to go in. Oh, how sad for Daddy, Grandma and I. Anna barley had time to say goodbye. Some of the kids were hesitant to leave their parents side but I didn't see many tears from the kids. The parents; We all looked like the paparazzi with our cameras flashing (a couple even with camcorders), calling out to the celebrity children! It was a funny site, I'm sure.
Anna and her good friend Hunter from preschool, before school
Lining up for the first bell
Anna coming out of school, very excited!
Mary and Anna after school!
Thursday, which was only the second full day of school, was very interesting. Just 15 minutes before school was out, the skies got very dark and the Tornado warning sirens came on. I was told in the past that when there are weather warning, children would remain in school until the warnings expired. This is something that has never been an issue since I have had school aged children, and since it was only the second day of school I panicked a bit. It was very hard to be stuck at home without your children in severe weather. I was scared, Jason wasn't home, Alex was napping, and I had no idea what was going on since the girls were supposed to be picked up by Hunters father. Ben (Hunter's dad) called me to let me know that he called the school and they weren't going to let out of school, and to wait around until the weather calmed and the warning expired. I was nervous for the girls, especially Anna since they have not had time to have tornado drill with it only being the second day of "real" school (as far as I know they didn't practice this in preschool, only a fire drill). I pictured her crying and scared, and Mary being scared, but knowing what to do in the case of an emergency since she has practiced this before. Everything turned out ok in our area, even with the strong winds.
It was a mad house at the school when it was time for the kids to be picked up. Parents had to go to the office to sign their kids out, then the kids were called one by one to the office. There were lines and groups of people everywhere. I don't think anyone was really prepared for anything like this as we don't have very much severe weather in the Chicago land area. I signed out for the kids, and Anna and Hunter were the first to come out. I expected tears and strong hugs, but they were totally fine! Obviously the teachers and staff were good at keeping the kids calm. When Mary came out, however, she had the look of terror on her face. She called out "Mommy" ran up to me and hugged me tighter than she has hugged me in the longest time! She's still my baby!
They ended up cancelling the next day of school due to power outages in half of the districts schools, and unsafe conditions on the school premises. This was an interesting first week of school, that's for sure. Hopefully next week will be calm so that we can get into the swing of things.
Here are a couple pictures of some of the damage done in the area around us. This was taken in Elmhurst, which is just about 10 miles east of us.