All day long I thought about Caleb and prayed for his day. I could hardly wait to pick him up. But as soon as he started walking to the car at the pick-up line, I could tell he wasn't doing well. He was on the brink of tears. When I got him in the car, he wouldn't say a word about his day, and I could tell his tears were growing closer to the surface with every question I asked. So I told him to close his eyes and rest, and I sat quietly the rest of the drive home. Once we got home, he crumpled on the floor upstairs and said he couldn't move. He also said he was freezing, and today it was 96 out, and our upstairs was 81 degrees -- so I knew something was off. Turns out he had a fever (which was actually a relief to me because it explained his sorrow. I was afraid he had hated his first day) and a bad headache. I tucked him in to bed to rest, and he was asleep in no time. He woke up with more perk and was willing to tell me a little about his day, and it was a pretty good day until the headache set in.
He told me that his table buddy, Will, thought Caleb's snack looked yummy, so Caleb gave him three pieces. When Will proclaimed how much he liked the snack, Caleb gave him more. As Caleb was telling me the story, I thought, "That's my Caleb! Generous to his core." He has such a naturally kind and good heart. I don't know where he got that generosity from as it certainly isn't me. My gut reaction as a child (and I'm ashamed to admit it, but even as an adult!) would have been to pull my bag of popcorn closer to myself and to shield it from my neighbor's hungry eyes. Caleb puts me to shame and teaches me so much. I love that about him!
Tomorrow we will do our first day of homeschool. We chose to send Caleb to a school that is a homeschool hybrid. He goes to class two days a week, and I homeschool him the other three days with curriculum provided by the school. I'm excited about it, and Bryan and I are both convinced we made the best decision for Caleb. I shudder when I think about what this week would have been for him if he was going five days a week for 8 hours a day!
A year ago, we were sending Caleb off for his first day of preschool. Bryan and I worked our day around taking Caleb to McDonald's for pancakes and then to preschool ourselves. Afterwards we headed to Egleston to spend the rest of the day with Samuel. I remember after dropping Caleb off, we came back to the car, and I bawled my eyes out. I couldn't stop crying. Mostly I was sobbing about Samuel, but I was also crying about saying goodbye to another of my children. With the drain of a nightly goodbye to Samuel (the worst part of everyday), it was excruciating to say goodbye to Caleb too. I can't explain it, but that cry session in the car stands out to me as one of the biggest cries I had while Samuel was alive.
Here are some pictures of this year's rite of passage as well as last year's: