Monday, August 20, 2007

I Think I Cheated

Last week a mom whose blog I like to read wrote a post about her son’s first day of school. She described herself as “a sniffling, quivering mess of snot” the morning she dropped him off. A couple of days later I got an e-mail from my sister-in-law about how difficult her first-day experience was. She asked us, “Why didn’t you more experienced moms tell me how much I would be affected by the first day of Kindergarten?” She apparently had a hard time sleeping the night before and had a huge headache. Her e-mail went on to explain that she really had to do some persuading to get her son onto the bus. “He successfully (with quite a bit of nudging) got on the bus and I guess he’s doing fine as I have not had any phone calls from the teacher yet.” Feeling badly that I had not adequately warned her, I called her that afternoon to make sure she was doing OK.

Over the last few weeks I had been tearing up a little bit whenever I thought about sending Big D off to “big school”. I talked to him a couple of times last week about his feelings regarding school, and if he had any questions. I told him that C.B. and Banana and I would miss him during the day. He said he would miss us too. Then he remembered that his first day of school was a half day. “It’s good that it's only a half day Mom”, he told me. “We will only have to miss each other for a little bit that first day and after that we will be alright.” Thankfully I was driving and he was in the backseat so he didn’t see my tears.

I easily made the decision NOT to go along to drop him off on the first day. Our routine is for Dad to drive Big D and Miss M in the mornings before he goes to work. We both thought it would be best to keep the same routine. He went to the same school last year for preschool, and the drop-off process is the same as last year. Surely he would wonder why I was there since he already knew what he was doing.

Big D was excited and got out of bed pretty easily for school this morning. He got dressed in his uniform, having only a little bit of trouble with his belt. He looked sharp. We took a picture of him and Miss M on the front porch.

He left with a wave and a smile, and I didn’t shed a single tear. When I picked him up that afternoon, his smile was even bigger.

He told me all about his first day, and how much fun he had. He asked if he got to go back again in the morning and cheered when I said yes. I think I made the right decision by not going. It definitely kept my emotions in check. But after reading about other moms’ experiences, I feel like I may have cheated.

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