He calmly dressed in the clothes he'd chosen a full week earlier (his favorite new Wolverine shirt, of course. Couture is important @ Casa de Dummies).
He took his morning milk like always, but was too nervous to finish it, or to eat anything else.
He sat quietly through Ben 10 starring at it without much reaction, even during the theme song at the beginning. Normally, that is his favorite part.
He was nervous. Obviously, nervous.
But, he wasn't hostile, or uncooperative, or tearful.
Not this year.
This year, he was just nervously quiet; too quiet?
We drove the entire way to school without a single word exchanged between the two of us (we'd both said all we needed to in the few days before), while #3 chit chatted for the duration (mostly to himself with the occassional response required from me) like always.
When we arrived, I went around to open his door, his only words were, "Mommy, I don't want to go to school," before his eyes filled with tears.
My heart tore a little as he wiped them away, trying to be brave, like brother.
I saw a hint of a smile as we ran through the rain. He'd noticed a friend getting out of his car and racing towards the door also.
#2 was the first one to the classroom door, and the last one to enter it.
He slowly shrugged out of his backpack, then peeled off his rain coat.
He tried out three different hooks before he settled on the one that would be just right for the storing of his belongings.
He peeked under his eyelashes at all of the other children as they excitedly ran down the hall, threw kisses at their mommies, and chatted happily as they joined their classmates at the coloring table (or the block center, or the book center, or whatever center floated their boats).
He demanded two hugs and three kisses in the hallway.
He only required a few forceful bumps to the backs of heels with the stroller (and perhaps a swift kick or two from #3, which were totally unexpected, but extremely useful and effective) to get him into the classroom.
No dragging, no pulling, no pushing.
No screaming, no crying, no running.
I didn't threaten him, or bribe him, or trick him or lie.
He went in mostly on his own.
He asked for another round of lovin' ("A long hug, please," he whispered in my ear), blinked (once for yes, twice for no) to acknowledge that he heard his teachers greet him, and then proceeded (thanks to the firm grip his teacher had on his hand) to the carpet to join his classmates.
I waved oncce more and wheeled #3 (trying not to run, but desperately wanting to before he changed his mind) out the door and down the hall.
We buckled up and raced around the building to peer through his clasroom window.
And, what I saw made me tear up.
My viciously-reluctant-shy-to-a-fault-opinionated-and-full-of-as-much-angst-as-an-extra-in-Twilight little boy had joined his class for circle time.
He may not have been sitting near them (or sitting at all), or singing along with their
He wasn't banging on the window and yelling, "Don't leave! Mommy! Don't! Leave!", like last year.
He hadn't put himself in a chair in the corner, to isolate himself from the class, like last year.
He wasn't crying, or brooding, or attempting to run at full speed from the classroom, like last year.
His first day may not have been great like Emma's, or Braden's, or Jacob's, or Maddie's, but it was good enough.
Good enough for me to be proud to call the nicely dressed kid with the social skills of a lamppost mine.