First day of school | Del Mar child photographer

First day of Kindergarten for little Payton….can’t believe it’s time already!

5 years went by way too fast!

Ocean Air Kindergarten photographer

First day of Kindergarten


It’s definitely with mixed emotions that we sent her off to school yesterday. On one hand, it’s our little girl, the last one to go to school 5 days/week, and it shows that time marches on, and that’s a little sad. We feel a little older, a little lost without her company in the house 3 days a week. We miss her, we miss our own youth, and we don’t want anyone to get any older.  We can sense how this is a big step towards finishing school, graduating, moving out….and we don’t want that. At least MOST days, we don’t want that. 🙂

On the other hand, I will now have 3 mornings a week all to myself! Ya-hooo!! We recognize that we now have older kids who can entertain themselves in our house or at the park for several hours without needing us to be with them, down in the trenches of the play area, every minute. That is a huge accomplishment.  We love watching them learn new things, improve their skills, have worthwhile conversations about interesting topics (this is still kind of rare, most conversations DO still revolve around stuffed animals or Barbie, but still, we see progress….).

North county photographer

First day of school

This is the picture of them before we headed off…..looking good right?

That was about 15 minutes before the Kindergarten melt down occurred.

Thought we might be ok….

She was excited about the new backpack. Check.

She was excited that she gets to wear necklaces to Kindergarten (not allowed in preschool). Check.

She knows, and was excited about her teachers, same as Harper had last year. Check.

All good right?

Ocean Air 2013-2014-5


Del Mar child photographer

Jumping for joy

We were excited! School is starting! We’ve got everything lined up perfectly for a perfect first day of school! She’s older now! There will be no crying! Everyone excited? YES!!



Still the kid with major separation anxiety and not afraid to show it. Check.

Got to school, took Harper to first grade and kinda just threw her in there. Much different than Kindergarten by the way. No lining up with the kids, walking them to the classroom, saying goodbye 18 times both outside the classroom as well as inside the classroom, taking pictures, waving at the window….getting kicked off the property by the principal because you’ve been saying goodbye for a half hour.

No way. First grade is big time.

You take her, she lines up alone, and she marches in and (you hope to hell) she figures it out when she gets in there, because you are LOOOOONG gone by that point. Not what I necessarily wanted, but just the way it is when you’re a big, bad, first grader!

So anyway, back to Kindergarten.

The drop off.

This was her before the drop off.

Ocean Air first day of school

before school


There is no after picture, it was too traumatic for anyone to think of grabbing a camera to commemorate the moment.

It started off with kisses and hugs outside the classroom.

Then, obviously, I went inside the classroom to say goodbye again. Many moms were doing that. But most of them were just taking pictures of their kids. No one was really hugging and kissing the way we were….as if I was going off to war.

I gave her 20 kisses on her chest….forgot how that started, what it means, but it was supposed to be ONE kiss, to kind of tuck away, under your shirt, and carry with you. Well, over the past year, we made it up to 20. She counts them outloud for me so I know when to stop.

Then hugs. Tight hugs. The choking kind. And while she’s hugging me, she’s chanting “forever and ever and too much, goodbye and I love you. Forever and ever and too much, goodbye and I love you. ” That used to be something else too, but was condensed, and modified, so it’s easier to chant. So that’s what everyone was hearing.

Then big, full, right on the lips kisses from her.

Then more hugs.

More chanting.

Then she senses we are kind of out of things to do, so then….tears.

Then tighter hugging,

Then sobbing.

Then the teacher is pulling her off of me. Asking if it’s ok to do it, and I’m saying yes it’s ok, just do it, but she can’t hear me over the sobs/shrieks/yelling so we are all kind of just locked in a three way bind.

Finally the teacher pulls on Payton, and this is where it gets interesting.

ALL the other moms and dads are outside at this point, looking in the windows and door, remembering fondly dropping off their Kindergartner for his/her first day of school.  And then they direct their attention to us, because it’s filling their ears, and hurting their heads to be around us. As they are watching, Payton is taken. (well, attempted, she never actually left me), but unbeknownst to the teacher, Payton has my shirt and sweater in firm grasp in her fists. So my entire shirt comes up and over and almost clears my head. I give all the parents a half-assed strip show, and it’s not a pretty site.  Horrific ideas fill my head….

did I suck in my gut?

am I wearing a good bra?

is my underwear above my pant line?

is my white-as-white abdomen blinding anyone?

is there back fat pinching out along my bra line?

am I ever going to be released from this death grip so I can run home and sit in shame by myself?

Worst 5 minutes (8 seconds??) of my life!  I’m embarrassed for Payton, I’m embarrassed for myself, and where the hell is Tom?? (He’s watching outside. Pretending he’s not the dad).

Finally, we come to terms. No teacher will pull on her, she can go quietly into school on her own terms, but that means more kisses, more hugs, more chants……

I finally leave, and it’ s almost time to come pick her back up.

On a happy note, today was day 2, and it went off without a hitch. Not a single tear (probably because Harper and I openly discussed how many people saw Payton crying yesterday.) She denied dropping a single tear. WHAT!?!? Wasn’t she there?? Well, whatever she believes, something worked, because today was lovely.

Hoping today was not a fluke.

Happy first day of school everybody!!

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  • MalLove the pearls!!! It WILL get better – promise. She just loves her Mama.ReplyCancel

  • Leann RobertsOMG! I am laughing sooo hard my stomach hurts! Just read this out loud to Chuck and could hardly get the words out! Thank you for sharing – you have an amazing gift for writing. I KNOW it was a traumatic experience (believe me, I have seen it at my school) but the way you wrote it, it was absolutely hysterical! Your patience is remarkable and your girls are lucky to have you as a mom!ReplyCancel

  • NaomiOMG! That was absolutely hilarious!! It gave me a fast forward to what I may experience when Makena goes to school! I am soo glad that her 2nd day of Kindergarden was much easier for all of you!! i cant believe how big the girls are now and they are absolutely adorable!ReplyCancel

  • JenThanks for the humor. There’s always one! In marinas first day kindergarten and first day first grade (old school style walk in at our school). So glad the 2nd day went well. You wore a catsuit and or fancy lingerie, i gather?ReplyCancel

    • kimkHA Jen! Catsuit!! You’re killin me! I should have thought of that….but no….had it happened again the next day, I would have had the same regrets. Thankfully it didn’t happen twice.ReplyCancel

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