Today was a big day for Mr. Jackson W. Crazypants. The little man has been promoted from the 2-3 year old class at school (the Turtles) to the pre-K class (the mighty Ladybugs). Jack has been looking forward to being a Ladybug for months. There are no school-aged kids at Jack's school, so the Ladybugs are the big time. They have their own playground, they get to go on cool field trips, and most importantly, Jack is convinced that they learn a lot. Jack is eager to learn how to read, write, and speak more Spanish, and he knows that being a Ladybug will make it happen.
All the way to school, Jack and I talked about what his new class would be like. There's a racetrack around the playground for bikes. And lots of different books and toys, but still his own cubby for Roary and Emmy. He'd be reunited with his friends Cara and Emma, and his buddies Mason, Nico, and Cameron would be moving over with him.
As we rounded the corner to get to school, Jack declared, "Ladybugs, here I come!" He also informed me that today, he would try to make some new friends. That if he went up to somebody on the playground and said, "Hi, would you like to play with me? Would you like a new friend?" they would probably say yes. (They probably will, and I wish that it was that easy for grown-ups.)
Jack led the way to his new classroom, and I was immediately struck by how the teachers really do make the kids feel a bit more grown-up. His first responsibility when he arrives is to check himself in. He has to put his picture on the "Who's Here Today" board, but his name in the red basket, and then sign himself in. He picked up the pen, made a decent attempt at a J, then spelled out "A-C-K" as he wrote various scribbles on random parts of the page. Hey, he's getting there, and J's are hard to make.
After quick hugs and kisses, he was happily sitting at the table drinking juice.
Jack had been in the Turtle class for over year, which is a long time if you're only three and a half. If he had been clingy or sad or missing Miss Missy (say that three times fast), it would have been perfectly understandable. But instead, he was excited about this new chapter in his life. He looked at it as an adventure. And that makes me incredibly proud.