• http://www.myquietthoughts.blogspot.com Helen

    My food phobic 9 year old is going for a week long, school field trip. OMG I had to go and explain why my precious boy couldn’t go because he WON’T EAT and will DIE and the head teacher was so calm and said ” tell us what he DOES eat, we will make sure that every day there will be something that he will eat” His teacher patted my arm and said ” HE won’t starve, I promise, if he wants to just eat dry bread and cereal with no milk, that’s what he can eat, I will check him at meal times he won’t die”
    I love that school, I am hoping that he is old enough that embarrassment will coax him to even try real food! Imagine that.

  • pammyg

    As a mom with all three “baby birds” gone from the nest (the last two within two months of each other this summer), this entry brought tears to my eyes. Even though MY baby will turn 20 in a couple weeks, the sort of things you wrote bring memories so vivid to me.

    When they are little and your life can get so busy, sometimes you don’t know how you’ll make it some days. But once they’re gone, life gets so incredibly quiet… It’s bittersweet.

    From my heart (and through my tears), thanks for sharing your life with us, Heather~

  • LMM

    Very nice post. I think your writing style is progressing- you have always had you “voice”, but I feel like you have more polish. Thanks for sharing Letta’s first day of school!

    My son started 3rd grade and he was great! Then I got all choked up and started to cry and I had to make a hasty exit so he wouldn’t see me.

  • http://www.girlfromtexas.wordpress.com Suzette

    OK. You just made me cry. This is just one of soooo many firsts. But, it’s one of the biggies. My little girl is 27…has been to war…has been married and divorced…and I still cling to these kinds of golden memories. Save them in a pink, velvet-covered box. They are among life’s most precious.

  • http://sassafrasmama.blogspot.com Stacy

    Today, on the way home from 4th grade, my son talked the entire time. And though it sometimes makes my ears want to bleed, I love that he’s still so excited about school and life. And that he’s sharing it with me.

    Enjoy it all.

  • Teri

    Simply beautiful.

  • Deborah

    Beautifully captured.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been reading your work for years, watching as Leta has grown. I can only imagine the flack and crap you’ve gotten all along about you-as-a-mother or even worse, about your beloved child. And yet you’ve continued to share with us and build this magnificent community of online parents looking to connect with each other.

    And now precious Leta is in kindergarten. Heather, I hope you have really sat back and let that accomplishment wash over you. Leta who you thought wouldn’t walk much less run or jump, Leta who readers thought was autistic, Leta who screamed with the screaming screams. A beautiful girl WHO CAN ALREADY READ CHAPTER BOOKS!! Wow. Phenomenal. Just phenomenal.

    Thanks again for sharing with us all, and give that beautiful girl a smooch from the Internet.

  • http://nobiggiebunch.com/ No Biggie

    What a big girl! (Both of you!)

    I have a feeling that snappy outfit had something to do with her first day’s success. Love the toe point in the photo.

    Go Leta! Go Heather!

  • NY,NY

    I just had a thought about people making mean comments, and I remembered my mom’s advice about the mean kids at school (guess the school post got me remembering my own terrible school days). “Ignore them and they will go away”. Maybe if we don’t comment on the haters, and dooce does not give them the time of day, they will move elsewhere to get the attention they obviously need.

  • Nicole

    Glad it went well! Shes so cute!

  • Nat W

    I miss kindergarten. However, I don’t remember my first day…I don’t remember being glued to my mom, but I’m (still) such a mama’s girl that I’m sure it was traumatic for at least one of us.

    Good to hear that Leta is a fan of kindergarten. Tell her life is all downhill from this point forward, lol.

    And you really must bring up the burritos.

  • Staci

    My son started kindergarten this year as well. The first day on the bus, he waved to me. After that, it was like I wasn’t even there.

    I love the ramble of kid’s stories.

  • http://hopelds.blogspot.com Hope

    Big step for BOTH of you – great job!

  • http://victorytrue.blogspot.com/ Chriss

    I remember these days well. Sigh. As much as the talking drives you crazy, some day she will NOT want to speak to you at all.

  • Carly

    Sometimes when I read your posts I feel like I’m watching myself grow up. In so many ways (not all, of course – that is the beauty of humanity, that we are all different), Leta and I are so alike.

    My mother never thought I would walk. Of course, I don’t remember that, but she says so, so I believe her.

    I lived the first 5 years of my life after baby food on peanut butter, club crackers, and american cheese slices. After about 5 years, a miracle happened. I added chicken nuggets and french fries. At 22, I am still a picky eater – but I’m not THAT picky. And, hey! I can generally function in polite society!

    I began reading early. And whoo, boy, once that train left the station, I was READING. I read everything. Anything I could get my hands on. In Kindergarten, a box of chapter books would have excited me just as much as it excited Leta.

    Even today, when I get overexcited, my mother tells me to TAKE A BREATH. And usually I take a quick one and then continue on about whatever was so exciting. Growing up, she was an elementary school teacher, and when she’d pick me up from my school, I’d start in with all the exciting things that had happened that day and she’d hold her hand in front of my face and say, “FIVE MINUTES.” That meant DO NOT TALK FOR FIVE MINUTES OR I WILL LOSE MY MIND.

    Anyway, lots of rambling to say thanks for sharing Leta’s stories with us.
    And maybe give you some hope that there are those of us with similar stories who made it all the way into adulthood, who even rent their own apartments and pay their bills and everything, but who still need their mothers when they get really sick (i.e. this summer, when my mother had to drive 8 hours from Memphis to North Carolina to take care of me I was so sick).

  • Kristina

    You’re absolutely right. My mom and I do still remember kindergarten together, and there are usually copious adult beverages involved when we do it. Wine is always a favorite, but g&ts, martinis and mojitos come in as a close second.

  • Amy

    Aaawwww. That was so sweet. I sent my twins off to kindergarten three weeks ago, too. It IS a big day.

    My five year old daughter is a picky eater, too. I used to agonize about it, but I have just given into it. I don’t want to give her complexes about food and I figure that what she puts in her mouth and chews is probably one of the only things that she really controls in her life. To compensate, she gets three gummy bear vitamins and I can sleep at night.

  • http://improbablefiction.wordpress.com/ Lauren Tidmore

    Aww this made me cry. I’m so happy for you Heather! I’m glad everything went great and that Leta had an awesome time!

    Keeping you in my thoughts!


  • Anonymous

    I think I cried more on the first day of Kindergarten than my little one did. I was on the brink of turning around and picking him back up. Funny, I think we need them more than they need us; emotionally. Any “first” is an emotional one. Now mine is in 2nd grade and I’m like “dear God, get off my arm and go already!” He told me the 2nd week of school “Momma, how come it’s my 2nd week and I’m not nervous but my stomach hurts?” My reply was “Get over it, you’ve got 14 more years of it!”

  • Janelle

    Sweet story. She will love to read this when she is older. I think I was as excited as Leta about chapter books. And those books where you got to choose your endings – remember? Probably a couple of years older than Leta, but I don’t think I left my room for weeks when I got those from the library.

  • http://greyhairedcoed.blogspot.com/ Sharon Simpson

    I’m a retired elementary teacher, and I know the trauma of first day in kindergarten. Parents and kids sometimes have a difficult time. It sounds as if you both had a PERFECT first day! I’m so glad for both of you!!!

  • Ashley

    Aw, she looks like a such a grown-up! Congrats on starting this next chapter in her (and your) life!

  • http://ifevolutionworks.com Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com

    So bittersweet, but so wonderful. Had to laugh at the VW commercial. I felt the same way once he started really talking……and I still do. He’s now 9.

  • http://jackandjillputupablog.com/ Jill Put Up A Blog

    pretty adorable. good sign – she likes school. My 1st day, I cried and then cried some more and didn’t want to go back.

  • http://www.postednote.com Eddeaux

    Love it. Especially the secret “whisper” in the ear part… I can’t believe that after 7 years I still find this site so dang fascinating… even after meeting you in Austin and finding out that I was the only dude there at the bookstore that actually read your site… the other guys were just their with their prego wives.

  • http://boomayhew.blogspot.com/ Boo Mayhew

    Oh wow, that brought back memories of my first day at kindergarten and my Mom leaving me :-) Well done Dooce, well done Leta

  • Sarah

    I don’t have kids, so I don’t know how the first day of kindergarten feels, but I cried reading this post. I remember my first day of kindergarten, standing outside with my mother and waiting to go in (and my first day of college, where there were far, far more tears involved). I never realized that it was probably as hard for my mother as it was for me. Thanks for giving me a completely different perspective.

  • http://mommaruthsays.blogspot.com mommaruthsays

    You handled it beautifully. I hate to think of how I’ll handle my daughter’s first day of Kindergarten. And it’s nice that you’re still able to make Leta-Heather memories and it’s not always Leta-Heather-Marlo memories. Kudos!

  • heather

    it’s great to see the gains that they make during the year, the first day for my son was not so bad, and first grade this year has been great because he loves his teacher. she’s such a doll.

    yeah, #41, do you remember Kathie Lee Griffin? she doesn’t talk about her kids on TV any more. I wonder why? maybe because they are total screw ups or just talking about your kids on TV is so damn unfair. read something else you nut job.

    btw, the baby has the biggest eyes, she is gorgeous!

    picky eating, but she’s growing and obviously smart. my sister ate nothing but hot dogs apples and potato chips (food allergies) for four years. she’s fine now.

  • http://beyondthewindow.wordpress.com beyond

    heather, did you see this?
    almost as cute as a baby hippo…
    leta looks so sweet and… grown-up, somehow. i guess kindergarten is kinda grown-up.

  • http://www.itstheecotone.com Jayseaka

    I’m expecting my first child in February and while I love all your posts, it’s posts like these that really get me excited about becoming a parent!

  • http://bethstecher.blogspot.com Beth

    I just got my two daughters down for their naps (ages (almost) 3, and 7 months) and I am sobbing at the computer thinking about doing this in 2 years. Your writing and tone on this are pitch perfect! I simultaneously dread and look forward to that day. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Megan

    Reading this actually made me cry. I’m glad you two go to experience such a great day together. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us.

  • Kristin

    We just did the same thing with our daughter, and when I got to the part about you wiping the tears I started to tear up. Can you believe it? Kindergarten. Amazing.

  • http://www.thelocalsloveit.com Erin@TheLocalsLoveIt

    Please pass the tissues…

    I sure love first day of school stories.

  • Joy101378

    Leta is rockin’ that outfit.

    P.S. You will SOOOOO bring up the burrito on that day. That’s what mothers do. :o )

  • Katherine Sweet

    Congrats on the pizza eating!! Here is to many new adventures.

  • Larkhappy

    One of the things I like about your blog is how you nail it, expecially when you write about Leta. I have followed this little one since late in 2004, and I still love hearing about her. I can still easily picture her in the old kitchen sink, taking a bath, and now look at her.

  • http://roomswithaview.typepad.com/ Shaun Paddock

    So happy to hear that she loves school. Not surprised and yet still happy.

  • Anonymous

    This made me cry!

  • http://www.popmommy.com Pam

    And you will have this wonderful entry to read together in the future. How cool. I was teary when I read about you dropping her off and leaving, but what a perfect, perfect ending. All we want as Moms is for our kids to be HAPPY.

  • http://www.scentsy.com/mamorrell Ann

    Wow. Your last three paragraphs captured that awesome feeling after the first day so fully. The only time I had tears in my eyes the first day was when he met me after school and my little undemonstrative boy lept into my arms and hugged me with such excitement and happiness. It was the most warm, wonderful feeling and I will never forget it. And I could not stop looking at my boy, not my little boy anymore, in the rearview mirror all the way home. Thank you for this today. It was needed.

  • http://aseemlylife.com Anonymous

    I always loved that. The long conversation about everything after school. Oddly enough it was my son who said everything. When he went to college he would still call and say “Ma guess what, or listen to this” I loved the listening. Until he broke up with me and married this girl who gets to hear it all now. That girl I love as much as if she were mine.

  • http://labradoris.weebly.com/blog-entries.html Labradoris

    I know exactly what you mean on the paragraphs and paragraphs filling the car. My significant other and I will go pick up the little one, and for twenty minutes straight, I’m not even kidding, we cannot get one word in to him, to each other, or even to ourselves. It’s probably the most adorable thing ever (and slightly annoying if we actually need to communicate; we rely on hand signals instead). :)

  • http://memyselfandmommy.com/ Renee

    Did you have burritos for dinner to celebrate?!

    I remember my first day of kindergarten, and let me tell you the outfit I wore was outrageously funny. I was far from the fashion icon that Leta is.

  • Jamie

    Adorable! I dread this day.

  • Courtney

    This makes me excited about the future with my daughter.

  • MK

    Now I want to go ask my mom about my first day of kindergarten 32 years ago.

  • http://drlaurac.livejournal.com. Laura B


    I remember reading and hearing from friends that all toddlers are picky eaters, so one of the things I decided early on I would not stress about was food. And then I got a kid that ate healthy food, and won’t accept M&Ms as a bribe for toilet training. And I wonder, where did he come from?