All the other moms warned me.
The first day of school started well. We were on a roll that morning. Despite the dreary rain, the kids and I were up early, lunches were made and there weren’t any tears. Yet.
I’ve always been able to keep myself together for these big life events. My daughter is now in Senior Kindergarten and my son is in preschool. They’re both the type that need a couple of minutes to adjust at the beginning and then when they’re in, they’re good to go! Mommy, on the other hand, needs to start listening when good advice is given: Don’t look back!
As our vehicle approached the Kindergarten entrance, I thought it best to leave my little guy to wait in the car (I’d be watching it the entire time, only a few feet away) to avoid adding a two year old on a tear to the first-day chaos. But it wasn’t as easy as I thought. My daughter wouldn’t let go. I mean, I didn’t expect it to be easy, but she was a clinger. Thankfully, our neighbors have a son in her class and they followed us to the door. Success! I can totally pawn her off on them. Now, to make my escape.
I made it back to the car feeling like I totally just ditched my little girl on her first day of Senior Kindergarten. I knew she’d be brave, put on a smile and figure out how to fit into this new group of faces on her own. She’s a trooper! And that’s what I’ve always wanted for her: to face the world with strength and her head held high, always knowing that I’d be there in the background if she ever needed me. But that pang in my heart was getting louder. What did I just do? Is she going to be scarred for life?! I was still only feet away from her but I felt like she had just floated out to sea on her own, with no raft.
Catching another mom who was there for drop-off, I asked if she could stay at the car to watch my son so I could go back. I had to check. I just HAD to! So, I made my way into the building, found her room and saw my little angel sitting on the carpet “Criss Cross Applesauce” with a few other little girls that were looking through a bin of books. Her back was to me. She didn’t move. She just sat. So I tiptoed over and gave her a gentle little tap on the shoulder. She slowly turned around and then her face quickly contorted into a mess of blubbery expression. And tears fell. “Moooommmmmyyyyyyyy!!!!!”
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