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Dear Jake…

September 7, 2010

Dear Jake…

 Tomorrow you begin kindergarten.

 It’s late. I’m working on my computer, IPod blasting in my ear, while your father watches Whale Wars on television, his favorite object tattooed to his hand (the remote). The house is relatively quiet, and all I can think about is in a few hours I will be putting you on the school bus for the first time.

 I am so glad you are excited. You actually put yourself to bed early on your own so you will ready for tomorrow. I’m a bit concerned about your lunch, though. I know we purchased the cool Shrek lunchbox with the button on the belly that makes him burp, but what are we going to fill it with? You only eat two things: turkey sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly. Tonight, you proudly informed me you did NOT like peanut butter any longer. Only jelly. I tried to explain the importance of protein but you didn’t seem to want to listen. So, I wrapped up a turkey sandwich with the crust cut off and wondered if you would eat that for the next approximately 200 school days because I have a feeling you won’t eat in the cafeteria. But we’ll discuss this later. At least we rounded it out with applesauce and chocolate Teddy Grahams (4 grams of fiber in a box – yeah!)

 We placed the bright blue balloon on the mailbox so the bus would know where to stop. Of course, the paper sign we were supposed to hang around your neck is not strung with the colorful homemade yarn the other moms will have. Sorry, dear, we never purchased it over the weekend, so you will have a bright green fishing line around your neck to proudly state your bus route. I’m sure you don’t mind.

 I also have 4 LARGE bags of supplies. I never knew that little kids needed so much stuff, or that public school didn’t mean free. Let’s hope you get some use out of it.

 I’m sorry for the fight we had over your clothes, sweetheart. I spent a million dollars buying cool t-shirts and matching pants/shorts. We bought two pairs of designer shoes because they looked really cool and I wanted to make you happy. We have Thomas the Train underwear, Spiderman socks, and new Scooby Doo pajamas so you can be happy sleeping the night before. This did not mean you can pull out your whole drawer and pick out your ancient stained homemade shirt you made in pre-k and proudly tell me you were wearing it to school. I tried to be reasonable, but you were always quite stubborn, and the idea of the horrified stares your outfit would elicit on your first day would be too much for Mommy to bear. So, after an hour of fighting, we seemed to compromise on the Superman t-shirt (still not my first choice to show up in 100 new school photos) but I can be flexible.

 I know you are going to love school. You are so eager to learn, and you know who you are, even at 5. You are ready to move to this next step, and I am proud of you. This is a big step for me too, the beginning of a long journey helping you grow up. My job is to get you there with as minimum amount of pain and stress as possible. So, I sit here tonight, knowing when I wake up in the morning I will put you on the school bus for the first time and wave as you drive away. I will entrust you to teachers and hope you make friends. I will take my first step with trusting I did a good enough job building a foundation for you to leap off.

 I hope you remember some of the moments to share with me, but have a feeling you will give me your quintessential shrug when I ask my million questions. When I try to narrow on a topic to achieve any thread of information, you will probably just say it was “Okay.” Or your other motto, “I don’t’ remember.”

 None of that matters, though. I will be waiting at the bus stop at 3:00pm to welcome you home. I will always be here to welcome you home, no matter what journey you embark on. I know there will be many; some exciting, some heartbreaking, but I will be here when you need me, or when you remember something you would like to share. This will always be your safe place for as you long as you want, until one day, you make your own way in this world as a man and create your own safe place.

 But, for now, Mommy is here. And Mommy loves you.

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  1. Garnet says:

    Kindergarten starts for little Garnet tomorrow as well. They will both have a great day! And so will we. :- I am grateful, G’s school has a uniform policy, takes the clothes fight out of my hands. Can’t wait to hear how Jake’s first day goes. Hugs to all of you.

    • jennifer121 says:

      OH, Garnet, I will be thinking about you today too! Good luck, I know both our children will be successful and happy – it is just hard sometimes to be left behind!! Make sure you email me later and give me all the details. Much love,

  2. Theresa says:

    Oh you make me want to cry!!! Jake is going to do fine and you will too!!! It is good that he is excited. Can’t wait to read all about his first day!

  3. Liz says:

    Thanks for making me want to cry before I have to leave for work – lol

    • jennifer121 says:

      Sorry! I find myself needing to deal with my emotions in the only way I know – writing. Thank God I have an outlet!!! And even nicer is someone out there actually is reading it! Thanks for checking in with me!

  4. Nancy Chaudhry says:

    Will you be my mommy?

  5. Wendy Marcus says:

    I have tears in my eyes!

    This year I didn’t even go through my childrens school supplies. (Ages 13 and 16) I took them to purchase what they needed and then they were on their own.

    Did you have to send your son with two boxes of tissues and baby wipes to clean the desks, and foam soap to wash his hands? It gets a little nutty!

    And what are whale wars? Sounds interesting.

    And when your son’s hungry, he’ll eat. (I think I paid for a pediatrician visit to get those words of wisdom. Also, children cough.)

    I’ll be thinking of you all day today! You’ll get through it my friend. And like you’re there for your son, we’re here for you!!!

    • jennifer121 says:

      HI Wendy! You are the best. You should see the list: clorox wipes, baby wipes, tissues, antibacterial soap, playdough, crayons, paper plates, snacks, glue sticks, a shoebox, white t-shirts and that is not even the whole thing! Whale Wars is on Discovery channel, it really is fascinating but I usually write when it’s on. The US fishing boat tries to stop the Japanese fishing boats from capturing whales, and they literally war on the seas. Seems like fiction but it’s all true. Hugs right back to you on your children, doesn’t matter how old they are – now you are dealing with peer pressure, social cliques, moodiness, and being on the verge of adulthood (gulp). Love you much – talk later.

  6. Angelique says:

    Wow is someone else a little change resistant too? Sounds like Jackie was seeking a bit of comfort in an old friendly homemade tee perhaps to remind him of a familar (and safe) school, teacher & classmates or show how his off his crafting skills 🙂 Anyway, it kinda sucks that they take the photos on the first day & that he couldn’t wear his tee or fuzzy bunny slippers or whatever the hell he wanted – I know, I know, I get it, but it does suck. I think it sucks that kids can’t wear mismatched clothes if that is what they feel comfortable in or the same shirt (as long as it doesn’t stink) if it is their favorite every day for 172 days. I remember all the focus on clothes and . . . I’m cutting myself off before this turns into an essay on conformity and consumerism. He is that shirt ancient stained shirt nearly too small by any chance? If so he can always squeeze into it & wear another on top. I’m sure he’s soooo over the shirt at this point – can you tell I’ve had a lifetime of wearing something other than what I want. Fight the power. lol.

    Oh, & I love the fishing line! That is awesome. Jeesh they really make you parents jump through the hoops – godforbid a mommy gets outta line. Off with ‘er head! You let me know if you need backup. We can wear capes and take on the bus drivers, teachers, lunch ladies (I mean people) and every other naysayer, nose lifter or finger wager. Oooh we might need boots a la Mama Mia. Ok stop distracting me I really have work to do. Good luck & love the writing!

  7. Kimberly says:

    I knew he would be okay…I’ll bet he had a great day and just for the record you will worry and cry for Josh too. My sister and her husband still got teary eyed this morning for Connor. lol.
    Anyway I’m sure you laid a great foundation for your children. Jake will flourish and lets face it Josh will probably be made senior prom king in the seventh grade. lol

    • Kim, how the heck do you know my kids so well??? Joshie WILl probably be senior prom king early, and Jake will be mooning over some girl who broke his heart while JOshie tells him to get over it! Oh, God, it is too much for me to handle! I can’t wait to see you soon – hope you are feeling better.

  8. Jen, Things with kids don’t change. I fought with my mother over what I would weear the first day. My children fought with their mother about what they would wear. Received a call from my son. His daughter was stubbornly insisting on wearing her pink dress on the first day of school. Don’t you love them.

  9. Yolanda says:

    Chocolate teddy grams, turkey and applesauce – the perfect fuel for a first day. I’m sure he looked adorable in Spiderman t-shirt – very appropriate as he takes on the world in his new adventure! Look forward to the next installment. You and he will do just great!

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