Well today was the day, I sent my oldest child off on the bus to kindergarten. And it was really hard, like really really hard.
I didn't think I would be the mom that cried at the bus stop and was fighting the urge to follow to bus all the way to school. But about half way through this summer I realized that was totally going to be me. My anxiety was at an all time high. Unfortunately the Kindergarten orientation two weeks ago did not help the situation at all. I left feeling more scared and more sad and more worried about how he was going to handle this new school schedule and how was I going to handle having him away from me from 8:45am-4:10pm every single day.
So why is it so hard? Why am I such an emotional mess? I think one big part of it is that kindergarten represents the next big stage in life. His baby, stay home and play with mommy, responsibility free years are over... and never coming back. He will now be in school full time for the next 13 years (any hopefully more with a great college education)!! He will spend way more time in school, following the rules, going through the motions of public education, conforming to what he is suppose to be doing, then he will at home with me and exploring the world. That makes me sad.
But it's also hard because I need to come to terms with the fact that he won't need me as much. He will be gaining independence daily. He will become a big boy, slowly drifting away from my little buddy that needs mommy's hugs and kisses for everything. This realization is equal parts pride and heartbreak.
Luckily for everyone, he woke up this morning excited and ready to start this adventure. When the bus came, he ran, literally ran down the street and jumped right on. That made me happy and relieved and soooo sad that he so easily just blew me a kiss and went on his way.
Within a few minutes my parents went back on with their day, Mike left for work and took Patrick to my inlaws, and it was just me. I sat in the kitchen, drank my coffee, and cried lots of tears. Here are some of the thoughts that ran through my mind:
- I can't believe my little baby is on that big bus driving to a brand new building without me. He is to young for that! How can he possibly do that by himself??
- I hope he can open his lunch box and all his snacks? What if he can't open the bag of grapes, or zipper it back up?
- I pray pray pray he doesn't try to share food with any other kids, he still doesn't really understand what is safe and not safe to eat with his allergies. The lunch room is a scary place!
-What if he talks to much? He loves to talk, and he is so enthusiastic, but what if he doesn't understand when to stop?
- Please be a kind love-able boy! I hope the teacher loves him too and he doesn't become the "bad" or "annoying" kid in class.
- What shorts is he wearing? Is he going to be able to button them by himself after the bathroom?
-I hope he doesn't get overwhelmed and act like a crazy kid.
-Does he miss me? I hope so because I miss him, but I hope not because I don't want him to be sad.
-Do they get to spend enough time just playing and being kids? They are still so young, being in school all day is hard!!
-I hope he eats his lunch and snack, I don't want him to be hungry.
-Is it 4:10pm yet???
The time finally came to meet him at the bus stop. When the bus arrived the bus driver had to remind him several times that he had to get off the bus, he could see his friends tomorrow. He spent the next 2 hours telling me lots of stories about the classroom, the boy on the bus, the kid he helped walk to the nurses office, the boy who hit him by mistake in the face (I didn't love this part), the lunch room, and how he needs to wear his nice blue sneakers on Tuesdays. My heart was full to hear about his great first day. Tomorrow will be a tad easier, but the feelings of worry and sadness will not be gone. But hopefully seeing him happy, a great teacher, and new friends will help ease the pain and lead to an amazing first year of school!!
They say things are much easier when the kids start 1st grade.... that better be true!