Today was the day. Bella's first day of school that set her on an educational road to last for at least the next 13 years. Top on my list of concerns: her ensemble. I was up until 2 am getting everything set for her first day. I know.
(Shoes, t-shirt, skirt, brooch, and bobby pins.)
I made this rosette brooch from broadcloth, felt and vintage buttons. I put it all on a pin to wear as a brooch on her shirts, but it doubles as a hair ornament. I was so psyched that she liked it. I told her I was going to make her a bunch in different colors to wear with her different outfits and she asked if she could wear them on her shirts everyday. Sweet.
I freezer paper-stenciled her shirt with a 'b' in Cezanne font but I was disappointed with it. It wasn't dark enough on the navy shirt, so at 10:30 at night I decided to outline it with embroidery, thinking that if I wasn't happy I could fill it in with satin stitch another time. The cutest fabric for a first day of school skirt, and the most beautiful red leather shoes my mom got her in Paris. They are the softest, most supple calfskin- like shoes in the world. I am already mourning that she will outgrow them soon. They will go with so many of her skirts this year, until then.
(I snapped this right after I reminded Bella to look at the circle.)
Drop off time, today only. She'll be a bus rider from now on.
It went better than I anticipated. I was worried about Bella, who frequently throws a fit about going to Primary after Sacrament meeting. She will wail and cry and cling to me as I struggle to physically extricate her from me while she begs me to teach her class. So possibly you can see why I would be nervous about leaving her in a room full of strangers for an 8 hour day. She did so well. She looked a little bit nervous, but I stayed with her for about 15 or 20 minutes, casually gave her a kiss and a hug, and left her. I watched from the door, reluctant to leave. She seemed good. Engaged, curious.
Pick up time. We went to Baskin Robbins afterwards to celebrate and as we drove back home into the neighborhood we were behind her bus which would have been dropping her off at 3:45!!! Sheesh.
I have two trains of thought going about this whole process.
1. I know I am a mother crow, but I think you would be hard pressed to find a cuter Kindergartner ever. This outfit? Seriously? That little body with those long lean legs thanks to her daddy? Her dimples? A collection of materials including fabric, felt, ribbon and vintage buttons? How could you go wrong?
2. The emotional tumult involved. I was up until 1 am, completing the embroidery on her shirt and making her lunch. As I was saying my prayers I started worrying about her. Would she be lonely? Would she miss me? Would she be scared? What would she do when she felt so alone and lost and without a familiar face? I had to make her something to take with her. Something to remind her of home and love and safety and security. I finished my prayer and jumped up to go back out into the darkened house to begin a new and necessary project at 1 am. I knew just what it would be. I made her a small heart out of pink felt, about 1 1/2- 2" tall. I stitched her name on it, stitched it together and stuffed it. When I left her in her classroom this morning I showed it to her. I told her that it was the perfect size to hold in her hand, or keep in her shirt pocket. Anytime she felt lonely or scared or worried, she could hold it in her hand, give it a little squeeze and remember that mama loved her and missed her. When I picked her up from school she was holding it, looking a little worse for the wear, rubbed soft. I'd like to think that it comforted her to have it, but it comforted me to make it. It's as if by outfitting and adorning her with my creations I could send her armed and prepared to meet the world. Padded by the product of long hours spent in love and preparation and carefully chosen materials she would not be alone. I would go with her.
I think she had a great day. I think she loved it. I think this is going to work out...with a few more sleepless nights until I complete the rest of her wardrobe of skirts, shirts, brooches and hair clips.
I have many more pontifications on this new phase of life for us all, but I'm ready to put this day to rest and save pensive for tomorrow.