And I must have blinked for a really long time because here we are.
My first child is going to kindergarten.
I spoke that sentence out loud so many times this past month that I have lost count. Everyone wants to know how he is feeling and how I am feeling.
There are words to describe my emotions and yet there are no words at all.
My baby (yes, that’s right MY BABY) is going to walk through the school doors and he is going to be alone. Okay. Deep breaths. That may be a bit dramatic. He is going to have a teacher and an entire class with him but he won’t be with me.
His day care teachers who look out for him will not be either.
One of the hardest things about parenting is letting go.
Another one is being rational.
My Child Will Be Amazing
Deep down, I know he will be well cared for, protected, and even loved. My career as a teacher is going on sixteen years so I know this is true. There will be a good teacher waiting for him with her classroom newly decorated and a big smile on her face. This kid will get to experience and learn many new things. My child will be amazing no matter what. I truly believe this. After all, parents trust me all the time to do that for their children.
And yet here I am wondering, being nervous, feeling anxious, and putting so much mom guilt on myself.
You see, I am not taking him on his first day. It’s a choice that I am making not for myself but for my son. He gets nervous when it comes to the big events. (Yes, I know EXACTLY who he gets that from but let’s move on.) When he realizes it’s a big moment with mom and dad shining a major spotlight on him, he shuts down and the tears come. He can’t get a hold of himself and everything snowballs downward from that moment. I just don’t want that to happen. When you ask him where he is going to school right now, he will proudly tell you the name and that he will be in kindergarten. A smile lights up his face and his heart is happy. I want him to embrace that and hold onto it even if I miss out on that mommy and me first day moment at drop off.
In an old photo album that my mom has, there is this picture of myself on my first day of kindergarten that she took. My mom was there and I couldn’t tell you a single thing that I recall from that day so I am hoping that it is not as big of a deal as it feels right now. So what if all the other parents will be there, he will be stronger for it. Right? Right?
So this mommy will keep that thought in her heart throughout the morning as I keep checking the clock knowing when he will be entering the building and thinking of how his day is going. His before school daycare teacher will drop him off and has promised me some pictures. A LOT of pictures.
I wonder if I can convince his teacher to do something from Pinterest to really take over that mommy moment.
Yeah. Probably not.
There will be many times in life where I will watch my child go forward and know that I have to let him find his way. I still just wish I could hold his hand while he takes those steps.
Maybe the next time I blink.
This post originally appeared on 40 Wishes and Counting. It has been reprinted with permission.
Stacey Waltzer blogs at 40 Wishes and Counting. She is a wife, mom to two adorable crazy kids, and a teacher just trying to keep the “in” out of the insanity that can be her life. When she am not blogging about adventures at forty, mom life, and friendships, you might find her hiding in the closet eating the last piece of cake. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.