I've been doing this whole mom thing for a while now. 11 years to be exact. And even with all those years under my belt, sending my kids back to school on the first day, never seems to get any easier.
The first day back to school is always anxiety ridden for me. I worry so much about my kids, that I can barely sleep, the entire week leading up to the first day back. It's awful, but I can't help it. I worry about everything from my kids feeling sad, and missing me, to worrying about their new shoes being uncomfortable. Yea.....it's that bad. Like I said....I can't help it.
The first year I sent Nicholas to kindergarten, was really hard on me. I cried the entire day. I had spent so much time teaching him, and trying to catch him up to other kids his age. We had bonded the way mother and son are supposed to. I took on this child as my own, and I felt like I was handing him over to someone else all day. It sucked. But weeks went on, he loved school, and I let go a little. It was even harder on me however, when I sent him to his first day of middle school. It's hard to explain why. I mean, my little son was now turning into a young man......that was certainly hard for me.
He is now is 8th grade. The last year of middle school, and I can happily say, I didn't cry. I missed him all day on his first day, but I felt proud. He is growing up so fast, and turning into a man.
When I sent Laura to preschool, I was ok. It was only for three hours so I was cool with it. I had Katie to keep me company, so those hours went fast! When I sent her to kinder all day, I cried. It was hard for me to let my first little girl go. I didn't want her to grow up. I still don't. She is now in second grade, and is such a little social butterfly. She makes it easy for me to be excited for her. I don't feel that I need to worry about her too much. I know she will speak her mind at school, and ask for whatever she needs. She really made it easy to let go a little, for her too. I thought about her and missed her all day, but I knew she would come home full of stories to tell me.
Katie has gone to preschool for two years. She is now 4 (5 in September), and just started kindergarten. This was a hard one for me. I didn't cry, but my heart sure did. I wanted so badly to stay with her in her class all day.....but I didn't. Not only do I not want to be that mom who coddles her child so much that she cant let her be, but I know her teacher well enough (she was Laura's kinder teacher) to know that she wouldn't allow it. ;) I walked her to the carpet, let go of that sweet little soft hand of hers, and walked away. I had to swallow hard, to keep the tears from coming....I couldn't let her see me sad to let her go. She waved happily, and we waved right back. All day I thought about her. I missed her at lunch time mostly. We have had lunch together for almost 5 years. We sit every day together and talk about what we want to do for the rest of the day. Now I don't have that. She is at school with friends and becoming more independent. It's a wonderful thing, but it's so hard for me to let go.
I feel that sending my kids to kindergarten, one by one, is the first step in letting go of them. It's the first step of real independence, and I find it so scary. I want to hold their little hands forever. And while I know this wouldn't be good for them, my heart still has a hard time letting go.
Each one of my kids came home on the first day of school, with big smiles and lots of stories to tell. We sat at the dinner table for a long time learning about each child's day.
Not only did my heart glow with love and excitement for them, but the happy stories they told, told me that it's ok. It's ok to let go a little, and to let them become their own little people.
And so it begins......