I was going to be The Cool Mom. You know, the one who rejoices when her kids head off to school so she has a slice of time to herself? It was going to be sweet; I had it all planned out for about six years (my son is only 5, by the way). School bus for kid would = happy dance for Mommy. Surely.
But I’m not so super at self-estimation. Somehow I forgot that every time I find myself on the brink of something huge and new, I tend to become a spastic mess. I lose my crap, if you will; it can be a bit unseemly. It’s in these times of change that I really wish I didn’t have to be friends with myself. She’s just so darn high-maintenance.
I remember bringing my son home from the hospital, carrying him up to the nursery, settling in my carefully selected trendy glider rocker, and promptly bursting into ferocious tears. Sure, a few things like exhaustion and raging postpartum emotions were at play. A perfect storm waiting to happen, but the heart of the matter was–I was scared. Really, really scared. I didn’t know how to do this. I didn’t know how to manage spit-up, exist without sleep or leave the house with a newborn. I thought down the road to navigating playdates and began dry-heaving in fear.
When things are unfamiliar, I get panicky. A fight-or-flight reaction of sorts–one that leaves me wanting to flee to the safety under my bed covers rather than trying to push through something new.
New stuff is hard.
But we have to do it.
So I went to all three of my son’s Kindergarten orientations. And…they did nothing but soothe my fears and make me fall in love with the school and his teachers. More shockingly, despite my desire to avoid the terrifying newness of fellow parents, I found myself making friends, chatting people up and kind-of/almost looking forward to upcoming school events. So weird.
As for my son? He’s beyond excited and has been counting down the days for weeks. He couldn’t be more thrilled about starting school.
So it would appear that Kindergarten is not a terrible place and that my son wants to go there.
In turn, this may indicate that perhaps my fears are unfounded. That possibly, similar to those overwhelming early days of babyhood, we will somehow figure it out.
And it may end up being really cool.
What does this mean for all my present panic? Not one darn thing; let’s be real–I’m a Mommy. With a Kindergartner My terror isn’t going any anywhere.
While I’m madly cheering him on and occasionally even recognizing that we may survive, I’m most certainly still going to be That Mom–the one sobbing at the bus stop this morning.
And I think that’s okay too.
The one in which my son tells me it’s not okay for me to hang onto the back of the bus as it pulls away…:
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Janine Huldie says
Meredith, as you know Emma starts Kindergarten right after Labor Day next week and I too am totally shell shocked. As much as I know it is going to be fine and thankful that the school is wonderful and even the teacher she got assigned to is the one everyone told me to hope she got, because she is just that nice, I am still having all these emotions, too and definitely have a feeling I, too, will be crying as the bus pulls away for the first time. So, yes I can totally relate and been having similar conversations with Emma as you did in your video with you son above.
Janine, praying for you next week! Keep me posted and go get ’em!
If it makes you feel any better, I teared up after I heard his little voice 🙂 Good luck today, M! xo
Aw, sweet friend! xo
Cynthia Gabriele Sprouts Consignment Boutique says
I was on the opposite spectrum, no surprise, but, I could not wait for school to start for everyone of the four girls. The problem was that it seemed by the time I got back into the house & did a few dishes it was time for the bus to come & I had to run out & greet that darling little face that so enjoyed her first day of school. No tears shed here. Just joy on them starting a new adventure in their little lives.
It’s SUCH a huge adventure, Cindy!
Debbie McCormick says
With my first child I remember being so happy and excited that first day of school, dropping him off at the classroom door. I bragged to all my family and friends when they made comments leading up to that day, such as “I bet you will cry!” “Oh, the first day is so hard, I cried all day.” I bravely told them, “no, I am fine… I will not cry like most moms do…I can handle it just fine.”
When I was walking back to my car that morning, out of nowhere this panic and severe sadness just poured over me. The closer I got to my car the harder I was crying. It was so weird because there was no warning. Just bam! There it is!
With my other children it didn’t bother me at all. it is something about that “first one.”
Best of luck to you and your little one. Cry if you need to – and don’t be shocked if it hits you hard out of nowhere.
Debbie, thanks for the comment–was so comforting as I cycled through all the emotions of that day!
Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0 says
You are me, two days in the future. So… How am I at the end of the day?
Late in responding to this, of course, so how are both of we by the end of the week? Surviving but exhausted?? 😉
Chris Carter says
AW!!!! That precious boy!!!! You did it!! You made it through the big giant LEAP off the cliff of letting go!! And oh, how I love that you found everything you need and all that is good on the way down…
Good job mama!! Here’s to NEW things!
I love you, Chris–you have the best perspective and encouragement!
Kathy at kissing the frog says
“Just kindergarten.” ‘Cause that’s enough, you know. You will survive, Mama. I promise you. That darling boy will come home every day and tell you what he did. You may have to ply him with cookies and ask lots of questions, but he will tell you. xo
xo, Kathy–I know you know what you’re talking about!