I was thinking about all my friends who, IRL and in the bloggy land, have kids entering Kindergarten. I do too. My youngest.
And I was thinking about all the sweet and emotional tweets that I’ve been reading. The tears being shed by both Mommy and child.
Which led me to think about Kindergarten experiences with each of my children.
When my oldest son began kindergarten, I was a wreck. I couldn’t believe my baby. My darling little mop of a blue eyed boy was old enough to be in school. This little boy who I knew, emotionally wasn’t ready. I held back the tears and I walked with him to his class. I don’t know who had a firmer grip because we were both white knuckled. I located his desk. I got him situated. Dried his tears. I planted a Mommy kiss on his hand with a bright colored lipstick (a trick I learned when he was in preschool) and a promise that I would be back to pick him up in a few hours. It was a half-day program, which he was used to because he had been in preschool for a couple of years.
Without looking back, because I didn’t want him to see the tears that had escaped, as much as I tried to hold them back, I walked out of the classroom. Leaving my little boy in a room full of strangers, crying for his mommy. Hopeful that he would stop crying and be OK.
Then my daughter started kindergarten, 2 years later. I was extremely swollen with pregnancy as we walked together into her classroom. Her ponytails dancing merrily as she bounced her way around her classroom to find her name on a desk. She was excited. There were no tears. The whole experience was easy with her. I kissed her with an invisible Mommy kiss on her hand that went unnoticed. I left her chirping happily with neighborhood girls, barely realizing that I was leaving. Holding back the tears. Of happiness and relief that she was OK. I waddled out of the classroom without an ounce of worry.
She was. Fine.
But now, as summer is ending and the school year is rapidly approaching (although it seems like it’s taking forever to get here). My youngest will start kindergarten on September 8th.
I will take him back to the same school that he has been going to for the last 3 years as a preschooler. He will join a bunch of the kids that he has gotten to know fairly well and they will begin their kindergarten education together. And as a Mom, I’m so unaffected by my baby beginning kindergarten. Not because I’ve been there, done that, but because staying at the same school where he has happily been for the last three years doesn’t seem that big of a momentous change. It’s a place of comfort and warmth. Familiarity on his part as well as mine. I know he’ll be fine there. We’ll have the same morning routine that has become habit from the last three years. T.V and breakfast. Dressed and teeth. Quickly get into the car because we’re running late, as usual. It’s our thing. We’re used to it. And kindergarten won’t be that tremendous of a change.
He’ll be fine.
Until next year. His first grade year. When he begins public school. When our routine is completely different. When, for the first time in his little life, his Mommy isn’t driving him to school and holding his hand and we walk down the hall to his class. His Mommy won’t be there to hang his backpack and kiss him goodbye.
So for now, his kindergarten year, my tweets will not mirror those who have bittersweet feelings of kindergarten.
This year, we’re fine.
But next year. That is going to be a different story.
Amanda @ High Impact Mom says
KG started first grade this year, but because we went to Kindergarten at the same school she had no problems. I, on the other hand, was a wreck. I was certain I was making a mistake…that now that she could read I was perfectly capable of homeschooling her. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed and that bit of insanity, on my part, passed. I came to remember I do NOT have the patience to teach her from home (though I wish I did) and that she would be just fine and in truth thrived in a school setting.
I can relate to your feelings and am glad you’ll be ready for this year…you can always pack a Valium for the first day next year (for you of course)=).
Sorry for writing a book!
Tara R. says
Those second and third children are pros before they even try. I was all tears and butterflies when my oldest started school too, by the time the second one made it, it was all “don’t let the door hit you on the way out Mom.”
Enjoy your ‘away at school’ time.
managed chaos says
And I thought I was the only momma not getting all teary about the thought of my children returning to school. Granted they are in 2nd and 6th grade, but I’m excited for their excitement to return to school.
Argh… my tears! I’m crying at work! Oh, sh*t… 1st grade.. whole other story, isn’t it? A whole DAY in school! I can’t deal. Well we’ll cry it out together when the time comes, okay? Wow. How do they grow so fast??? Beautiful post, Melissa…
The first one is ALWAYS the hardest to send off to school/preschool/ day care. Second and third ones are – “Get OUT of the HOUSE already!” Well. sort of. The last on is the one that gets me though – because there are no others, after. They’re all in school and the house is empty. And once the novelty wears off, it isn’t that much fun walking around the house naked.
Ah, you’re saving all your tears for next year.
My eldest is going to primary school on Tuesday, and I’m having a hard time saying goodbye to his toddler self.
Love this- you rock, dude. Nice job of capturing that Kindergarten feeling. My third girl started first grade Monday, and I was ok (it was all day Kindergarten, not much difference) but I swear to God when my youngest and only boy starts? I will be in a puddle outside the classroom and they can mop me up when it is time for him to come home again. Ah, motherhood- ain’t it grand?! 🙂
*wiping my tears away*
I love this post. Thank you Melissa!
I think this year was the first year I didn’t cry when the kids got on the bus (they started 4th grade this year). I don’t know if it’s because they’re growing up too fast or I’m getting old. There was still a pang of wishing I could freeze time for just a few more minutes/hours/days, but then one of them rolled their eyes and sighed at me because I somehow turned retarded this summer and no longer know anything, so heart-warming, touching moment over!
Nia is starting Pre-K this year and I’m having such issues with it that I’ve willingly procrastinating handing in all her paperwork.
It doesn’t help that she is all excited about the prospect of being in her own class because I’m the one having separation issues.
Thanks for this post!
Well, then I’ll have to read your posts next year. This year for me, it was hard. Not hard like your oldest, but hard because she’s been ready for kindergarten since age 3 and it’s like nothing new for her. It breaks my heart that she is 100% okay. She loves it and I love that she loves it, but doesn’t she miss me even a teeny bit? NO!!!
I only cry when school starts back up because I have to work in the high school cafeteria. It is nice that I get to see my dd at lunch, though. I’ll be crying more in 2 years when she graduates because she’s starting her junior year on the 8th!
I do remember her 1st day of school though. I took a pic of her on the front porch before we left. She was fine, but I was a mess even though she had been at daycare before that. Kids are so happy when they see their friends then mommy is pushed to the back until they need her again.
The Queen has been so ready to start school that she woke up at 5 am the first day (we started August 5) with her backpack on ready to go. She did not allow me to go with her and her father to school, and when he took her to her room, she sat down and said, “Bye Daddy.” and never looked back. Here almost a month later, it is routine. I still have DeBoy running around me all day. In two years when he goes? Book me a room.