Just 15 minutes ago I dropped off my daughter at school for her first day of Kindergarten. She was one of the ones who went inside holding hands with an old preschool friend, no tears at all. Behind her was a sweet little girl who's first day truly was her first day at the big school, since she hadn't attended preschool before. She clung to her mother and was the last to enter the building following a long trail of 5 year old children all attending their first day of Kindergarten.
A milestone. I thought.
But was it a milestone for my daughter as much as for me?
I left this morning with wobbly knees and welling up tears followed by a happy little smile. Happy that my daughter was able to get over the separation anxiety she'd had the first four years of her life. Happy that she was proud to be a Kindergartener. Happy that she was such a sweet and kind friend to her classmates.
Then I remembered how I'd felt on my first day of Kindergarten. I was one of those children much like that teary little girl, afraid to go and reluctantly walked into the school building with a hole in my heart created by the feeling of loss as though my mother had deserted me by sending me to that terrible place. I was afraid of my teacher who would put her hands on the children's shoulders and rattle them up if they misbehaved. I
All these emotions came before me this morning as I chose not to go inside for "Parent Tea" with all the other parents as they do on the first day of the schoolyear. I suppose I could have gone in to celebrate and chat with the other moms but I didn't. I wanted to remember more about that day 28 years ago. The first day of Kindergarten is a milestone for everyone. For me, because I don't remember the details of that day, I was able to connect to that little girl who was tearfully led into the building. I remember what that first day felt like, and so many mornings after that.
Call me emotional but I think I've crossed a milestone today. I wanted to write about it because I know so many other parents are experiencing these emotions this week as their son or daughter begin their first day of Kindergarten, or preschool, or high school or college. So this is what it's like to be a parent!