I know the ache you’re feeling in your gut, and that lump in your throat you can’t seem to swallow. I remember the tears burning my eyes, begging them to wait until my baby out of view before they came spilling out. I remember my mind racing with worry and fear of the unknown. My heart dreading being away for my sidekick for longer than ever before. I remember the tug of war of my mind and heart. Wondering if he was ready, but knowing deep down he was ready and the only one that wasn’t, was me.
The summer before Kindergarten was bittersweet. I was heartbreakingly aware that his new teacher would soon be getting more of his awake hours than I would. I was preparing my heart to hand my baby over to someone I had just met. I prayed that they would see in him what I do every day. I stressed over if he would remember his manners, and if he would get lost going to the bathroom. The school seemed bigger to me than I imagined, and so many thoughts and fears clouded my mind and kept me up at night.
Dear first time Kindergarten mama, I get it. I see you. I WAS you just one, short year ago.
And I’m here to tell you . . .
I survived, and my Kindergartener THRIVED.
Let me assure you and help you find some peace.
You will still be his favorite.
You will still be the one he turns to.
You will still be the one he learns from the most.
You will still be his comfort, his kiss goodnight, his giggle in the morning.
You will still be the maker of his favorite breakfast.
You will still get to cheer him on as he masters new skills.
Your bond will still be as great, as strong, and as unbreakable as before he walked into that school.
You will still be his advocate and his biggest fan.
Just like all his other milestones, you will gain a new perspective, a new appreciation, and a new sense of pride for your baby. You’ll treasure time with him even more than you thought possible. He will grow so much this year, and not just out of his clothes.
I promise you one thing, sweet Mama, the feeling of him running to you, arms out wide, after school is PRICELESS. He will smile as he tells you about his day. About how he met a new friend, and is falling in love with his sweet, new teacher. It’s all so worth the heartache we feel letting him go.
He will show you how strong and brave he is. More than you ever gave him credit for. You will be floored at all he will accomplish, and your heart will be filled with so much pride as you cheer on his successes. You will realize that this is the first of many times he is ready long before you are.
You will watch him walk in tall, with a backpack that looks like it will swallow him, into a school that looks way too big for your baby. You will walk to the car trying to catch your breath. You will sit in the school parking lot and sob. Your mind will race with flashbacks of the last five years, trying to figure out how those years did indeed fly by. You will wonder if he will get lost, if you packed enough in his lunchbox, and if kids will be nice to him. You worry that he will be sad, or scared, or lonely. You will worry that his teacher won’t see him the way you do, quirks and strengths as one great big package.
But you’ve spent the past five years preparing him for this. You’ve given him confidences. You’ve built him up. You did good, mama. It’s his turn to show you how he can shine.
He will show you time and time again that letting him go, allows him to soar.
He’s ready, mama. Are you?
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