Many years ago, before I had kids, my sister sent her oldest child off to school and I remember my mom telling me that my sister cried when she dropped her daughter off. I chuckled a little, not to make fun of her but because I thought it was cute. Even after I had kids of my own, I always thought that I would NEVER cry or have a hard time sending them off to school.
And then, it came to be my turn. In the last several months, its been just Chase & I in the afternoons while the other 3 kids are taking naps. I try to get stuff done while he plays on his own for a bit but that never lasts too long before he wants to do something with me. Sometimes it would bug me that I couldn’t have any peace to make phone calls that need to be made or take care of other things, but for the last little while, I realized that he would be heading off to school soon and tried to spend that time with him. In his last few days before school started we did things like play Battleship (his request!) and make cookies while the other kids napped.
The day came to take him to school and as I drove toward the school I got this queasy feeling in my stomach and started to think of him going out into the “real world”. Sure, its only kindergarten, but we’ve kept him pretty sheltered until now and have always known the kinds of kids that he was spending time with and the good families they are from. And now I just don’t know what kinds of situations he’ll be exposed to. Have I taught him enough? Have I prepared him for life?
I have to admit that I got a little teary eyed when I left him at the school drove toward home. And now I can understand all those moms who do cry when they take their kindergartner to school that first day. Like so many other things, you just can’t understand until you’ve been in the situation yourself.