The long-awaited day has finally arrived. After countless exclamations of “I just can’t wait for school to start!” I find myself tearing up as I get them ready and on their way. It doesn’t help any that this year is my oldest daughter’s senior year so today is the first day of her last year, and yet my youngest is beginning Kindergarten. But if I’m honest, those big blue eyes on the five-year old welling up with tears and the trembling lips this morning was just about my undoing. Okay, since we are being completely honest, it was my undoing.
For weeks every time Kindergarten was mentioned the lips trembled. The eyes welled up with tears. Tantrums I could handle, screaming even would have been easier than seeing my strong, independent daughter doing something so uncharacteristic. I could hug, kiss and reassure the tears away, but they would always return.
Last night she refused to pack her backpack, while her older sister merrily packed both her and her little sister’s, after completely organizing all the school supplies first and making sure we used our list and checked it twice. She practically “whistled while she worked” she was having so much fun.
As we worked together I look at the younger one who was avoiding the whole idea of going back to school I worried that maybe I hadn’t prepared her enough.
Next on the list, time to pick out the first day of school clothes. I’m not a picky mom, if they fit, are clean and match (okay sort of match) you can wear them. My youngest comes downstairs with a pretty dress but it didn’t conform to the dress code. With a stomping of her foot she says, “I HATE school already!” She returns with the flowered dress you see in the photo and I said, “As long as you wear shorts under it.” We didn’t need anymore meltdowns. You can’t see it, but she wore her light up Princess tennis shoes with it! Hey if it makes her feel better about the day, then I’m all for it.
Our well planned morning didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped for. After last years debacle I really had worked hard t0 prepare for the morning. But I awake to a grumpy five-year old who climbed into our bed because she had bad dreams all night. She is too little to dress herself. She does not want to eat breakfast. Do I HAVE to wear socks? As I help her with her shoes, her eyes fill again. Those sparkling, tears drip drop down her cheeks as she says “Mommy I don’t want to go! I’m scared. I won’t know anyone” Tiny arms wrap around my neck and I remember just how little those arms used to be. I quickly blink my own tears away and remind her of all the good things. I give her all the reassurances that a mommy can.
She stands up and as I try to carry her quite heavy backpack for her she says, “Mommy I can do it!” I know that she means more than just carry her backpack.
Now, it’s mommy’s turn to cry because I’m so proud of her. When she was left at the school she still wasn’t sure, but I know she will be just fine.