Here’s To New Beginnings – My Baby Is In First Grade!

August 24th, 2016 - filed under: The Farm » Family


Photo by Harmony Agh

Today (Wednesday) was the first day of First Grade for my wee Mr. Waits. And he woke up excited, so squirmy he could barely sit still to finish his granola with raspberries (and that’s saying a lot, considering his undying love of granola with raspberries), and he certainly wasn’t about to put up with posing for photos with mom. No-siree. There was SCHOOL to get to, and his TEACHER to hug, and his FRIENDS to reunite with, and this little sweetheart could just hardly contain himself.

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This morning, I thought back to this time last year. When I wrote a very emotional, very heartfelt post about my only baby entering real school for the first time. It felt like a beginning that was also the beginning of a long, slow march towards an ending. It felt like the first step towards someday really letting him go.

But there was so much more wrapped up in that post, too. Because it wasn’t just a beginning – but also an end. In that same post I wrote about losing our beloved Harley-dog, after 12 wonderful years of love and friendship.

And this morning I thought back over this past year, and everything that has happened. Where we’ve come from, and how far we’ve truly traveled. This time last year I was cloaked in sadness, the kind of sadness where even beautiful beginnings somehow felt like tragedy unwinding in slow motion. And it just got worse from there.

But then, it began to get better. And then I found my power again. And this summer has been nothing short of a BLOSSOM. Waits bloomed through surf camp and theatre camp and kung fu camp and aqua camp and nature camp and farm camp, he bloomed bright and wild like the magical little being that he is. And I bloomed too, finally, fucking finally, and I caught my footing and took off running and man, I ain’t ever looking back.

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Today Waits started first grade and I had not one single ounce of sadness. When I walked him into school this morning and saw the same familiar faces, the teachers and parents, and of course all those wide-eyed starbright tiny people, it felt just like returning to a community where we belong. Hugs and high-fives. Squeals and laughter. And it felt like such an exciting beginning, one of many new beginnings in our lives these days.

So cheers to those. And to many more!

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    I can’t believe Waits is already in first grade! I’m so happy that you’re caught up in the excitement of it all.

  • Rebecca Carnes

    Aww, yay for first grade! He’s turning into such a little man, love the long golden locks;) It’s so great to hear how excited he was to be back learning and with his friends…… and I remember reading your post about Harley, I can’t believe it’s already been a year. So so happy for you that you are back on top and feeling like you again:)

  • Kristin

    Cheers to blooming and happy new beginnings!

  • WookieWifey

    This post made me so happy. Waits is so freakin’ adorable and your absolute CLONE omg.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Thanks Kristin!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I can’t believe it’s already been a year! Time FLIES when your little people are growing up, right?

    Is P starting school this year? Or one more year? He’s still got one more year right? Man it’s all going so fast!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    But that means Nina must be in . . . 3rd? 4th? Which is so crazy. Dude I have friends with 6TH GRADERS. I can’t even.

  • Monika {windycityvegan}

    She’s in 4th, starting this Monday! Unbelievable. We almost skipped her to 5th, which means she would be only one year away from middle school. How did she grow up so fast?!

  • Rebecca Carnes

    Having a kiddo makes you so aware of time it’s crazy!!!
    He’s actually been going to a Montessori school here since he was 2, and in their summer program during the summer -since I work all summer:( … but I love hearing about all of the new things he’s discovered throughout the day! He’s in a mixed age class and everyday he’s I 5 yet?? His best bud is 5 & I keep telling him slow down man, enjoy being four LOL

  • Angie


  • Candace

    I love all the good feelings you have with Waits starting first grade. To me there seems to be a lot of negative feelings when it comes to growing up. I was just telling my 2 1/2 year old today how rad it is that he can talk and we can joke about things.
    I have a question for you that isn’t really related to this post (except the kid part), and I admire you and your parenting and you experience with raising a vegan kid. I couldn’t find an email anywhere, so I hope its ok Im posting it here.

    So yesterday I went to a babyshower and there was literally nothing for me and my son to eat except fruit skewers and white bread. (which is fine because i brought food for us). I also made a vegan dessert to bring and share so my son could have a sweet treat.
    All the tables were adorned with little bottles filled with jelly beans and eventually they had a dessert bar full of beautiful little cupcakes and cookies they were all non-vegan. for most of the time I avoided my son wanting the jelly beans because i told him they were decorations and didn’t lead on about them being full of candy. But towards the end of the shower when all the kids were running around stuffing their faces with cupcakes, cookies, and jelly beans, he wanted to get in on the action.
    He didn’t eat any cupcakes, but he did manage to swipe a few cookies off the table and take bites of them before I could stop him.
    After we left the baby shower I explained to him that a lot of people don’t know that the chemicals in their food (like the jelly beans) isn’t good for their bodies. And how they don’t realize they are hurting animals when they eat food made from them (like the jelly beans, cupcakes, etc…) And I told him hopefully more and more people will realize they are hurting themselves and animals by eating certain foods and hopefully they will change.
    (I don’t know if that’s the best way to explain why most people eat things made out of animals and chemicals and are ok with it?)

    Anyways, my question or my reaching out to you is that I usually bring food with me basically everywhere we go, but what do I do about situations like that where all the kids are eating those foods and to not have him feel left out (Because I heard constant telling them no and restriction may lead to backlash in the future?) I can’t always bring the vegan version of everything to every even we go to. Social events are exhausting and even though my son is so young I have basically given up on birthday parties unless its a really close friend or family member.
    I don’t want to be the mom that keeps her so away from things because of my fear of him eating refined sugar, chemicals, and animal products. But I don’t want him to eat any of that stuff either. I hate how the majority of people are ok with it. :(
    So what do you do? What’s your experience with things like this? Waits seems like such a smart kid who loves the way he eats and is proud of not eating animals and chemicals, so I don’t know if you’ve ever had to deal with this problem? I just feel l kinda heartbroken and tired from having to constantly “fight” for what I believe is right for us.

    Sorry for the long story, this all happened yesterday and I don’t really have any vegan mom friends who have slightly older kids who could share their vegan mama wisdom with me. Thanks!!! :)

  • Rebecca Carnes

    Woow I forgot to respond to this!!! I was really really lucky to have found a great Montessori school for P… he’s been going since he was 2 , he’s 4 1/2 now!! Can’t believe how little he was! I’m hoping to keep him in it as long as I can afford to…. crazy expensive out there:/ And I don’t really like the public schools around us