It’s the night before kindergarten again and I am not ready for this. UGH! I am dreading it now. I’ve been breaking down all day because my dog’s very sick and we’re not sure if she’s going to make it and now, I am sure tomorrow the crying will be of inappropriate proportions. As I sit here typing, the thought of reading that damn book “The Night before kindergarten” has me choking on tears and knowing what the kindergarten hallway looks like, think a mine field with mothers crying like they are Mary and their kindergartener is Christ on the Cross. It’s every thing I can do NOT to turn around and say fuck it. Never mind, I will home-school; thank you very much.
Oh yeah, I fell prey to this menagerie of crying Mommies last year when I had to tiptoe over their strewn carcasses as I made my way to the 1st grade corridor. It was brutal. I was holding it in and squeezing my Bella’s hand to reassure her. Damn the letting go. It hurts so bad. I hate the first day of kindergarten. I’d like to throat punch the first day of kindergarten or maybe even roundhouse kick it in the nuts.
I started this post yesterday when I was filled with trepidation and bursting at the seams with nauseating nostalgia. I was up most of the night unable to sleep. Gabs woke me up twice and the dog woke me up about three times. There was not much sleep to be had anyways. This morning I woke the girls up and the Big Guy too. The Big Guy made pancakes while I got the girls dressed, one by one, in a haze of no sleep and a fog of can I really do this? Let my baby start the leaving process. I don’t think I am built to let my children go.
If it were up to me, I would keep them snuggled up in my arms for all eternity. I know it’s crazy. Babies are born to grow up and become adults and go off on their own but why does the letting go have to start just when they are really starting to be interesting? I dressed both girls to perfection in their cute little navy uniforms with the hairstyle of their choice and we were off. Me with the camera on hand and the Big Guy under strict instructions to video tape everything.
As we drove along the same route we have driven so many times before to drop off her sister, I looked to the backseat and saw the baby I loved so much beaming with excitement and fidgeting with nervousness. I pretended not to notice the trepidation. She caught me staring at her and smiled just a little bit bigger. My heart, my mommy heart was starting to quiver. Silently I command myself, “ Don’t ugly cry, lady. You have to wait until you get outside of the building. Never let them see you cry.” Yes, my inner monologue is a pretty bossy bitch.
When we arrived at school, she was the first one out of the car. “Mommy, take my picture!” as she posed in front of the welcome sign. I followed silently snapping photos, committing every second of the letting go to memory. Smiling my nervous smile that only my husband recognizes. Gabs and her sister bounced through the hallways, sprinting towards the new year of new experiences; toward growing up. I could feel the pull at my heart as I watched their tiny bodies walking away from me.
After a photo or two beside the “KINDERGARTEN “ sign, it was time to let her go and trust someone else in the world with my most prized possessions; my children. This is the hard part. This is where I swallow hard and hug tight and slowly watch helplessly as I do the right thing and encourage her to go. Oh, how it hurts my heart and stings my eyes. Swallow that lump lady! I swallow so hard that I almost choke on this familiar lump. She runs back for one last hug and whispers, “I love you, Mommy. I’ll be okay.”
I slowly turn and walk away. I sneak one last backward glance she is smiling and coloring with new friends. As I walk away, I can hear her giggle and engage in excited conversation and I remember the words she just spoke to me, “I’ll be okay.”
I know she will. Will I? I didn’t cry, though I really wanted to. I loosen my white knuckled grip on my little girl’s childhood and I look forward to afternoon pick up when I can once again fill my arms with my little girls and my heart can be happy. How did you deal with the first day of school, daycare or kindergarten?