Just look at her face in this picture. She looks like she's ready to go. She couldn't wait.
This is her and her cousin Deinna. She used to go to school at Florin Elementary but the teacher she had there would single her out and treat her like crap. She's now going into third grade at the same christian school that Emerald's going into kindergarden. That makes me feel a little bit better, knowing that as much as this is a new and strange place for Emerald there's always Deinna there to look after her. I mean, look at the both of them sitting in the office.
You can almost see their little legs swinging back and forth in anticipation.
Here's Emerald's desk with her name on it ...
Her class is so small that there's only nine kids in her class. That's amazing. Nine kids in kindergarden. This is going to be so-o-o-o-o-o-o good for her, a nice small environment for her to learn and grow in. Good for her.
So eventually it was time for us to say our goodbyes to Emerald. It was really tough to say our goodbyes. I didn't cry. I tried to be as excited and as brave as Emerald was. She was taking it really well, too, nothing but happy smiles all the way. It was the hardest on Natasha, though, and she teared up when she got her good bye kiss.
When we all said our good byes and she went and lined up in front of her class, she got a little frown and said that she was a little bit scared. So Natasha ran up to her and got another big hug and a kiss. A little scared but still ready for school. That made it even harder, her and her little voice and her big eyes and her shaking lips saying she was "leetle bit scared, mommy."
We just didn't want to let go of her.
We stood by the door for a while and saw her sitting and learning and being the good girl that she is ...
... but as we turned around and started walking to our car, we heard Emerald crying. She didn't want us to leave.
Natasha, tears in her eyes, ran back into the class, hugging her. Emerald tries to be so brave for her mommy and daddy but when the reality of the situation presented itself, little Emerald just didn't want her mommy and daddy to leave her all alone.
Natasha tried to cheer her up, tell her that there was nothing to be afraid of. Natasha told her that her teacher was nice and her new friends would be nice to her. Natasha even went around and introduced Emerald to everybody that was sitting around her.
That seemed to make her feel better, plus we got the feeling that the teacher didn't want us hanging around anymore, which sucked because if we had it our way we would have stayed there all damn day. So we started to leave.
I snuck this picture as we left. I plan on making it into a banner for my blog ...
And this is the picture we took right before we left, Emerald with her head in her hands learning how to read and write in her little nine-kids classroom on her first day of school with her old-feeling parents wiping tears from their eyes ...
We're trying to keep ourselves occupied now. Today's Maury was awesome. I Slept With Your Brother ... You May Not Be The Father! and Natasha's babysitting a cute but eternally snot-nosed year and a half cracker girl named Emily. I'm also on page 105 on C.K. IV and cranking up Guns N' Roses and breaking high scores on the minigames of New Super Mario Bros.
We're trying to do things, clean up, get stuff done. But our minds aren't anywhere near here. Our minds and hearts are in a little classroom where our pride and joy is growing up and breaking our hearts.
I'm reminded of the first time Emerald rode a ride on her own. We were in line, Emerald was excited to go on yet another generic spinning State Fair ride, this one these steel swings that fly up in the air. We thought we could go with her on the ride, her being only two and all, but the toothless carny told us we couldn't go with her. We were so scared. We thought she would cry and get all scared without us.
... as you can see, the only ones crying were her mom and her dad.
I'm feel so worried.
And so heartbroken.
And so damn old.
And so damn proud.
Today my wife and I received a $20 paypal donation from a follower of Woodism who along with the money sent a little message that said some great things that made me feel a whole lot better.
Yes, I am too proud and stubborn to admit that I need help. I get that from my father, a very hot tempered classic latino sort of man. But I'll admit it. I'm broke. And I sincerely thank you for sending me your donation. Your donation means that we can actually afford food and that means a lot to me.
Once again, my most sincere thanks.
If any one else is interested in sending me and my family a PayPal donation, our account address is firstname.lastname@example.org