We arrived back in Abu Dhabi last week, getting off the plane at around 1 am on Friday morning. After an annoying wait at the luggage carousel, we realized that our stroller was not coming and made our way to the lost luggage desk to make a claim, before grabbing a taxi to our apartment. With as much as we travel, I remain so glad that we chose an apartment only 15 minutes from the airport.
It was great to be home. Matteo, though exhausted, took the time to say hello and goodnight to his favorite toys (ahem, and his video games) before heading to bed. Tony and I briefly unpacked before doing the same. I was glad to have the weekend together to adjust to the time change (2 hours ahead of what we’d adjusted to in Europe) and to regroup before the busy week started.
Tony was back at work on Monday (Sunday was a holiday) and Matteo I spent his last full day of summer break at the pool. On Tuesday morning Tony met Matteo and I at his new school for kindergarten orientation. We’ve been waiting for this day! We spent the morning checking out his new classroom, playground, and meeting his teacher and classmates.
Last spring after attending a “practice morning” for the new students, I met a group of other moms and we set up playdates for the kids throughout the summer so they could start school at least knowing some other kids. That has been wonderful for Matteo (and for me)! One of the kids from the playgroup is in his class and it has really been great for Matteo to already have a friend in his class (it’s also great as a mom to have faces I recognize at drop off/pick up).
Wednesday was the first day of school and I knew wake up would be difficult. I woke him at 6:30 and…well, let’s just say it will take some time (for both of us) to adjust to the new schedule. Uniform on and lunch packed, Matteo and I were off to school. As most schools are on the first day, it was crowded and a bit chaotic but when we got to his classroom, Matteo was READY. Smile on his face. High-fiving his teacher. A quick “bye mom!” and that was it. No tears, no fear, just excitement. A huge change from last year’s first day of preK drop off.
I struggled quite a bit after I dropped him off. By the time I got to the car the tears were flowing. As excited as I am for this next stage and the excitement of having a school aged kid, I’m also mourning the end of Matteo being a “little one.” It helps that I absolutely love his school and know he will be safe, have fun, and learn so much.
The second day drop off was much easier for me as I joined a group of my friends afterwards at the school’s coffee shop (how genius is it to have a parent coffee shop???) where we compared notes on our kids’ first days and chatted about everything we’re learning as new parents at the school.
Thanks to those who sent me notes and messages of well wishes and good thoughts for Matteo on his first day. We felt loved for sure!