It happened. The day we have been preparing for the last few years, and talking with much excitement about the last few months. The reason I took 86 pictures this morning to be exact. Our first born son went to Kindergarten today. He was ready, yet nervous. I was ready too, so I thought.
Together we picked out his clothes the night before. After much discussion we compromised on wearing a new polo shirt and khaki shorts for his first day. The plan was to wear his “comfy” clothes the following day as he knew he would spend several hours outside at recess. I did not have the heart to tell him there was much more to school than recess the night before his first day so I just let it be. We read the book “The Night Before Kindergarten” just as I had planned several weeks ago. Then as I tucked him into bed and said I loved him, the tears began. As excited as he was about this new school he suddenly realized he would not get to stay home with me and his little brother again. He knew all about school, but finally realized it was a five day a week gig. He has been in two day a week daycare and preschool much of his 5 years of life, so really where was this all coming from?
My heart started breaking right then and there. I thought I was ready for him to start school. I knew I was ready because he was so ready and so excited. I told myself I was not going to be sad or even cry. I was excited for him and the new beginnings ahead. I kept thinking to myself over and over after hearing his words, where have the last 5 years gone? He was so very right. When will we have the days to ourselves again? Gone are the sleepy days from being up all night with him as newborn. Gone are the years of reading him the same book over and over as a toddler. Gone are the years of morning walks in his pajamas before preschool. Gone are the “home days” as we called them. Just him, his little brother, and me all day with nothing on the calendar.
I assured him there will be more days than just Saturday and Sunday to be spent with his Mom, and little brother just at home. Even though I was so sad for this realization as well. I reminded him there were holidays and breaks from school, even snow days most likely. His thinking soon changed and the tears stopped. He was ready again to start school. And that was that.
The following morning routine went off just as I had planned. My sweet boy even held my hand as we walked up the hill to his school. He stood so tall and proud in front of the school sign for more pictures. My husband and I followed his lead to his locker and then to his classroom. He was full of smiles. He even said, “Can you give me a hug and kiss?” before we left. Of course, buddy!
When I returned home from school drop off I remembered again his thoughts from the night before. The house was quiet, little brother was happily playing independently with his brother’s toys (finally allowed to), and I cried. Gone are the “home days,” just us three. He was right. I soon remembered this is just one stage of life, and each stage is full of new beginnings, excitement, and goodbyes. And I smiled again thinking about how much fun he must be having at school that very moment.