Tomorrow is the first day of school for Addie and Ian. Addie is starting Kindergarten, and to be honest, I can't tell if I am completely freaked out, desperately sad or in complete denial that I have a child old enough for public school. But underneath all that, I am actually excited to see my baby moving up in the world. But mostly because she is really excited about moving up in the world. She's been talking about it all summer, and has been losing sleep over what her teacher will look like, where her class will be and what friends she'll meet. There has been the typical nervousness too, and so to make things extra special we decided to put on a fancy schmancy "Before School Dinner." I got the idea from Nie Nie's blog post 2 years ago, and I thought it was such a great way to get everyone involved in the celebration of starting a new school year. And with Ian starting pre-school as well, it seemed the perfect timing.
So Saturday night I sat them down to help me plan.
Me: For your back to school dinner, Dad and I are going to make you your favorite dinner. You can pick whatever you want! What'll it be?
I'm thinking they'll pick like homemade pizza, chocolate cake or mac and cheese. Something they actually eat 100% of the time.
Ian: (without hesitation) Green eggs and ham!
Me: (wondering if I even could figure out how to make it) Are you sure? What about homemade meatballs, or hamburgers? Maybe fancy cut french fries?
Addie and Ian: Green eggs and Ham!!!!!
But then I got to thinking: That's actually kind of a brilliant idea for a back to school dinner! You know, school really is about just learning to try new things, reading good books and have fun in the process. Perfect! A (very loosely) themed Dr. Suess dinner.
So, considering we put it together in about an hour, there wasn't anything too elaborate here. But it was a lot of fun.
The kids came up with the menu for the most part. I added in this theme, which we'll keep trying to memorize through the school year.
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
Our kitchen is all very white at the moment...and nice clean slate for when I can start decorating...but this garland from Bonne Nouvelle gave just the perfect color splash.
But the real triumph, was the green eggs and ham. I know, I know. They look very...um....not pretty. But since when were green eggs and ham supposed to look appetizing? Ken made Mont Saint Michelle style eggs (think puffy omelette's with German pancake flavor) and added green food coloring. And the ham was topped with a green brown-sugar glaze. They were delicious and to be perfectly honest, they were a hit.
And of course, there was real food for the adults. Fresh garden veggies....delicious.
We spent a bit of time letting them each tell the table what they were most excited about and what they thought they were going to learn this year. We even had an after dinner ball complete with capes and wooden stick horses for escorts. Letting the kids pick the party events was such a blast.
But all in all, it was the first of what will be a very fun tradition for the kids. It put me in the right mood too, considering that I'm most likely going to cry my way home from taking Addie to her first day. There is something about those "firsts" that is that interesting mix of wonderful and meloncholy. I guess that is where the word "sentimental" fits best.