I was the only mom that didn’t cry at kindergarten orientation.
It’s probably because I’m used to taking all my kids to playgroups where they interact with other kids in classroom settings. So, her being there with me watching, wasn’t new to us.
Even her teachers were surprised how well she was adapting to the classroom.
So, did I cry on the first day?
No!!! Sort of — or, well — yes.
It started at breakfast.
Surprisingly, I got up before my alarm went off which is great, because it didn’t wake baby and gave me 30 minutes of peaceful, alone time. (Yes, you heard that right. Who knew that was possible, right moms?)
I went downstairs, brewed myself some coffee and started to pack my daughter’s lunch. That’s when I found myself choking up. I held back my tears but they were there.
Then again, when she woke up and came downstairs for breakfast, I found myself holding back more tears. But after that, I was one cool Mama. I held it together.
My husband drove us to the front of the school and I walked her up to the schoolyard lineup. I was at ease with letting her go in alone. I even said goodbye ONCE (not multiple times). But then I noticed a bunch of parents — including daddies! — couldn’t bear to leave their kids just yet, and walked them inside.
Oh, what the heck, I said, and went inside, too.
I helped her hang her stuff up on her hooks and put her lunch in her cubby. Then I hugged her goodbye. I told her it was the last hug and kiss, then I was leaving. She said that was fine so, when she walked into the classroom, I forced myself to leave. I waved at her teachers and just walked out.
As I walked across the schoolyard back to the car, I started crying. I didn’t even understand why because I wasn’t aware of any bittersweet thoughts running through my head yet, here I was crying.
A mom saw me and said, “Don’t worry, it gets easier!” She cracked a joke promising to meet me at the door with tissues next week.
I laughed as I ran to the car, to avoid the embarrassment of crying in front of more parents.
As I drove off with what was left of my family, I kept picturing her screaming for me, wondering why I had left her with strangers in a new place.
Then, I remembered her teacher’s promise to call me if anything was wrong.
I checked my phone. No calls. Everything must be fine.
Then, about 30 minutes later, I started to feel excited. I felt the relief of only having to watch two kids instead of three.
My eldest is very outspoken. She wants what she wants and protests when she doesn’t get her way.
Now that she’s in school, there was a sort of peace that hadn’t existed in a while.
I took my two youngest to a playgroup, which was a whole lot easier because I had one less kid to watch.
It turns out, yeah, her going to school is a pretty exciting and relieving time.
I get to spoil my younger daughter in a way I felt I never could before.
Her older sister always got to pick out what she wanted, and my younger daughter never really had a choice. My eldest was first on the computer, she got to pick what shows to watch, what foods to eat — my younger daughter just tagged along. Now, she get her turn on the computer first. She gets to pick what’s for lunch. It’s nice to have this opportunity.
Anyway, my eldest has been at school three hours now, and I still get horrific flashes here and there of her screaming for me.
But then, I remind myself, she’s a strong-willed, independent girl.
She’s probably fine.
I hope. 🙂