My little boy is all grown up. OK, he's now in kindergarten. Nothing makes me think of him more as a little boy than watching him get on the bus full of big kids (the other kids at our stop are all middleschoolers). He was very excited for his first day and didn't let minor distractions like the bus missing him get him down. Yep, the bus missed his stop, so we had to drop him off at the school. I didn't even take him in to his class, because by the time we realized the bus wasn't just 25 minutes late, it was just flat-out never coming, we had to go straight there without having prepped the girls with semi-important things like shoes, strollers or an umbrella (it was pouring rain). As he was preparing to jump out of the car in front of the school, he said, "Mom, I don't know where my classroom is." I replied, "You can ask any grown-up you see for help. You know your teacher's name, and your room number is 307." As he exited, he muttered to himself over and over, "307, 307, 307, 307, 307..." And with that, he was gone. My sweet boy was swallowed up into a dozen+ years of formal education.
The school called in the afternoon to ask how he was getting home and then put in him on the bus, as requested. I waited for the bus very anxiously (as my mom, who was on the phone with me, can testify). It was late, but arrived - with Stellan on it. However, Stellan didn't know he was supposed to get off there, and didn't say anything. I had anticipated this and was walking from the car to the stop to intercept him when the bus pulled away. I chased the bus down, trying not to slip and die while wearing flip flops in the rain, banging on the side of the bus while the kids all pointed and laughed, until the driver noticed and stopped. I extracted Stellan, casually mentioned to the driver than I missed seeing him earlier that morning and that I hoped he would be there the next day, and gave my Stellan a big big hug.
He was very proud of himself, but a little dazed, and it became clear that the whole day was a little overwhelming for him. He got lost trying to find his classroom, but got some help from a grown-up. He didn't remember that I had packed him a lunch and then when lunch time came, told his teacher he didn't know what to do. He ended up getting a hot lunch, for which I'm sure the school will be sending me a bill, and possibly a scolding, at some point. As mentioned, he didn't remember the conversation we had in the car about how he was getting home. And he probably thought the bus driver was abducting him when he saw me chasing it down after school. Luckily, the next day was better. And by the third day, I think he has the system down. In fact, I'd say he's doing better than I am at home with the girls, who are having a harder time creating a new schedule. With 3 naps between them while Stellan's gone, the girls and I are struggling a bit to get anything productive done, but we'll get it worked out. We just need to follow Stellan's example.
Stellan has had a love-hate relationship with swimming, and especially swim lessons. He can swim perfectly fine when he wants to, but has still struggled to do it on command. With our upcoming trip to the Great Barrier Reef, it was time to get this taken care of. (Plus, Kevin wanted to try out his new underwater camera and needed a big target.)
Fortunately, Stellan's dad is Kevin. Kev decided to teach Stellan how to snorkle, in hopes that he would eventually be ready to snorkel relatively independently by November. Stellan exceeded all expectations. Once he had that mask on, he didn't want to take it off. Ever. Now he swims like he was born in the water and never left it. I guess it wasn't that he couldn't swim - it was just too boring to only be swimming. Now that swimming is a means to an end, problem solved. I suppose I should have known that any kid of Kevin's could be an expert snorkeler by age 5.
Since snorkeling is now on his top 5 things to do, we've gone several times. We've taken friends, we've gone to lakes as well as the ocean, we're all over this snorkeling thing. Rachelle is very happy to stick in the water with Stellan and keep him company. Annie is less excited, but will grow to like it, I hope.