web analytics
back-to-school, first day, third grade, letting go, growing up

Why Third Grade Sucks & I Prefer the Weeping Mothers of K-2

by Deborah Cruz

back-to-school, first day of school, letting go,motherhoodThis year, I was prepared to not be the crying pool of snot that I once was, have been, for the past 5 years on the first day of school. Sure, I was prepared to miss my children but what I was not prepared for was to not be missed.

Every year, I get my girls up, we have a special back-to-school breakfast and then I get them dressed in preparation for our 1st day of school annual photo shoot. They endure it. I love it and one day, they will thank me for documenting their childhood so they can share it with their own children. I am not a crazy, mamarazzi, I am performing a public service. Damn it!

Anyways, after the photo shoot we drove to school; 30 minutes early, in preparation for all the crying and don’t go’s (them not me)(well, maybe me a little bit) because, that is how it has always been since kindergarten. That’s the way it is always suppose to be. Moms leave their kids, moms cry, kids cry and then at 3 pm it’s lovapalooza. It rocks but not today. Today, maturity kicked me square in my mommy gut and told tradition to go suck an egg!

The girls were both nervous walking into school, squabbling whose class we would go to first. Obviously, I was dropping off the 3rd grader first because 1) she’s not the one who might throw a tantrum and cry when I try to leave 2) she’s the one who will actually get demerits for being late.

So, me and my 2 girls dressed in their brand spanking new plaid uniforms and sporting the fanciest headbands they could find, because that is the only place they can show any kind of fashion sense whatsoever walk down this new and unknown corridor. Up until now she had been in the same corridor as her little sister. Bravely, we find her classroom. I can feel myself tensing up. I do this every year because like childbirth, I just don’t know how bad the letting go is going to hurt each time.

back-to-school, letting go,motherhood, first day of school

“Here, we are!” I say.

“Great….” She mumbles, her long silky blonde hair falling gracefully into her eyes, as if she is trying to hide from the rest of the class.

We introduce ourselves to the teacher, who I must say was either a bit flushed or put her blush on in the dark because it was looking a bit Mimi-esque. Never mind, I avert my eyes to stop from staring. The same can’t be said for my 6-year-old whispering beneath her breath, “Mom, what’s wrong with Bella’s teacher’s face?”

“Shhhhhh,” I hush her.

Then I notice the entire class is watching and NO.Other.Parents.Are.There!!

FUCK! I can’t be the mom who embarrasses her 3rd grader but, FUCK! I haven’t gotten my goodbye kiss. Someone’s going to have to suck it up. So, I go in for the goodbye kiss and I say bye one last time as my 3rd grader wills me away with her glare. Now, I’ve never had the misfortune of experiencing my child letting go of my hand and running off on the first day but now I know how that must hurt. It appears that this love that my 3rd grader and I share, is now strictly on the down low; never again to see the light of day on school grounds. My eyes misted up and I sauntered off to the K-2 corridor that I’ve made my home for the past 3 years.

These are my people; the weeping mothers of Kindergarteners martyring themselves to release their grip on babyhood and children who appreciate a mom who covers them in kisses and hugs. I love this hallway. This is where I belong.

motherhood, first day of school

My sweet little first grader holds onto my hand for dear life. God, I love that kid. My ego needed that. I walk her into class. I can see the trepidation building in her eyes and I can feel it in her grip on my now turning purple hand.

“Here, we are!” I say.

“Mommy, please stay here!” she whispers.

“I’ll stay for a little while.” And I do but eventually after sweaters are hung, backpacks and gym shoes put away and I’ve settled her at her desk, given her 2000 hugs and kisses and taken as many photos, I give her one last kiss and squeeze and I tell her that I love her and to have a good day. My eyes are filling up, I can feel them burning.

back-to-school, first day of school

“Mommy, don’t go,” she whispers.

I choke out, “I’ll be back in a little bit to pick you up. I love you!”

And she jumps up and wraps her tiny little hands around my neck and hugs me one last hug; the kind of hug that can get a mommy through 7 hours without her children. I reciprocate. We are reassuring one another as much as we are ourselves. Then she sits down and yells after me as I am walking away feeling empty.

“Don’t forget to buy me some good snacks for tomorrow!”

With that, she lets me go and my heart is good. We’ll both be okay.  As I walk away down the hall, past all the weeping mothers of corridor K-2 crumpled in the floor in pools of their own tears and snot, I smile because I’ve got one more year of this corridor and all the hugs and kisses I can ever want and I can cry if I want to. I also know that next time I walk them in we’re going to this hallway first, so I can kiss and hug my girls goodbye properly without the judging eyes of the entire third grade.

Now, I wait til 3 pm for loveapalooza!

back-to-school, first day of school, letting go, growing up, third grade

How was your first day of school? Was the letting go hard or did your child dismiss you?

You may also like

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Shell 2013/08/14 - 11:22 am

Your girls are so cute.

I have a third and first grader this year too(and a preschooler). I have a feeling my third grader will only tolerate me walking him to his class because we will be on vacation during Open House when supplies are usually dropped off. The first grader- I don’t know, sometimes he clings and other times, he heads off confidently.

Allie 2013/08/14 - 11:29 am

They are growing up mommy. 🙁

Be thankful you don’t have a son in situation like this. My 14 yo is so quiet. I swear he talks and laughs with his friends, but God forbid he show emotion around mom. UH! I get so frustrated with teen boys. He confuses me so much! I know he loves me, he just shows me in quiet ways. And every so often I get mumble “I love you mom”. I’ll take what I can get.

Not like my 12 yo daughter. Hugs anytime I want them, I love you’s too! Except at school. She barely knows me on campus. “Mom don’t say library so loud.” Touchy!

Oh, they change. Every stage has its ups and downs.


Robbie 2013/08/14 - 4:23 pm

They are adorable in their uniforms and snazzy headbands! With my oldest we’re at the stage where he doesn’t even want to be seen with me. Why do we have to let them grow up?

Alex@LateEnough 2013/08/16 - 10:40 pm

I always cry sometime during that first week of school. I don’t know what I’ll do what my kids are like GO AWAY. I mean they do that sometimes but it’s more because they are distracted by toys or a TV show. They aren’t at the embarrassed-by-me stage yet (they’re 1st grade and preK).

Deborah Cruz 2013/08/19 - 10:40 am

My 8 year old is all hugs and cuddles normally but when I dropped her off at class, all the kids were staring and so was the teacher and I knew she was going to have to choose between being seen as my baby or being strong. So, I kissed her anyways because no matter how old he gets shes still my baby and any of those kids who say their mom would do otherwise is full of shit:) My first grader on the other hand was all don;t leave me ever so it balanced out. But yeah, the 8 year old giving me the don’t do it mom, stung a little bit. Luckily, I don’t care what other people think, especially not other 3rd graders:) LOL

Back-to-School Mommy Survival Kit 2013/09/05 - 11:09 am

[…] Back-to-school, that time of year when we are all running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to search for the holy grail of school supplies, maybe we are going about this all wrong? […]

Parents Guide to Surviving Back-to-School Induced Mood Whiplash - The TRUTH About Motherhood 2015/08/12 - 11:38 am

[…] first day back-to-school is today and yesterday my girls lost their minds. I never noticed this phenomenon before. Nerves […]

The Different Kinds of Moms You Meet on the First Day of School 2018/08/09 - 2:20 pm

[…] READ ALSO: Why 3rd Grade Sucks and I prefer the Weeping Mothers of K-2 […]


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More