J and I went to H's kindergarten orientation last night. Its all getting a little too real, this kindergarten thing. I know it will be great, I know H will be fine. I know H will be fine before I am fine, but I guess thats how it goes.
I have taken to calling the school where H goes to pre-school the cosa nostra. It is comically hard to figure out small details, like, oh, I don't know- what class your child is in? What teacher they have? On H's first day of school, I didn't know what class she was in, or even where the classrooms were. I didn't know who worked at the school, and had to pull someone aside, who I think was a parent judging from the fact that they were only slightly less clueless than I was, to ask where I should be going.
I found a classroom, saw that H wasn't on that class list and tried another and another until I found the right one. I met her teachers for the first time that day, and didn't get to know them any better until back to school night which was a few weeks later. S starts school at the cosa nostra in a few weeks. I'm not sure what class she'll be in, or who will be teaching the class, but now I am a part of the familia. I know who to ask, I know where the classrooms are. I know the procedure. The procedure is just come here long enough and you'll know. People aren't trying to be difficult, for the most part, its just that they assume you know, because they think probably your mom or your grandmom told you. What? They didn't go to pre-K at this school? Where are you from anyway? We've lived in our house for 9 years. A few years ago a neighbor at the other end of the street came up to me and said "You're the new people, right?" I said "no, we've been here for 6 years." "Yeah", she said. "The new people."
So, imagine my shock and awe when J and I go to this kindergarten orientation and receive a folder with a class list, a calendar for next year. All kinds of forms all in the same place. Then we actually met the kindergarten teacher. AND the parents of the kids who will be in the class. 4 months before school starts. Actually, the fact that there was an orientation at all threw me off course. I received a letter from the school about a month ago. The beginning of the letter said something about meeting your mentor family, and everything else stopped- I think I actually heard the needle sliding off the record. Mentor family? I missed the important part of the letter, which even said, in these very words, to write May 27th on your calender. Its a very important orientation meeting where we will answer all your questions... It said to RSVP. I didn't. I forgot. I am making a hell of a first impression. I had to be reminded by the director of the school that perhaps I should show up.
At least we didn't miss the very important orientation meeting. I have my hand over my heart as I swear not to block out any more important information just because kindergarten scares me.