“I don’t like my hair spiky,” he said as I came at him with his dad’s bottle of hair gel.
“Okay, let me just get it wet and comb it down a bit then? Because nobody wants bed head on the first day of first grade,” I replied with a smile.
This year, he was confident in the way he wanted to look without much input from his mom, thankyouverymuch, and proudly got ready for his first day of first grade.
It’s been a year since that first early (and I mean EARLY) morning walk to his first day of kindergarten.
This year and last were similar in that we all dragged ass around the house all morning, taking turns yawning, making promises of naps later (that I know they won’t want to take me up on anyway). And the excitement over a new video-game-inspired character t-shirt and fast new tennis shoes, which made the cut for the perfect first day outfit.
The similarities stopped there, though. And that’s perfectly fine with me. Goodness, I’m thankful to not be *that* mom this year- the nervous wreck one, the one walking down the halls clueless, wondering what I have to do to fit in, hoping that I don’t screw up this whole my-kid-goes-to-school-thing.
We casually strode to school, Kendall insisting on carrying his own, supply-filled backpack. Scott wasn’t able to make the walk up, so it was just me and all the kids. And my camera, of course.
There were no tears from any of us, though Leyna was very sad she couldn’t stay.
“But momma, I’m bigger, right? I grew! I’m big enough for Kendall’s school!” she insisted as we walked off.
My confidence in the possibilities of this school year is exponentially higher than it was this time last year. Partly because Kendall is not just a year older, but so much more mature. Partly because we know the ropes now. Partly because last year proved my hesitations wrong.
I thought kindergarten was going to be something we’d suffer through, the first year of a long trudge through the public school system, that we’d have to fight at every turn to not rip the spirit out of our energetic boy.
I was wrong. – What I Had Wrong About Public School Kindergarten
So all you moms and dads and caregivers sending off your first baby to kindergarten, I’m sending you lots of good thoughts and loads of compassion as the school year kicks off. If you feel like you missed the manual they must have sent home with everyone else because you don’t know what hallway the computer lab is in, or what the process is for signing in and out, or exactly what time early release is- you are NOT alone. There doesn’t seem to be a manual? That I know of, at least, at our school. Hang in there.
If your kiddo cries for the next week, my heart breaks with yours. It’s not easy to watch, but hopefully it will pass soon. It will get better.
Remember that this year isn’t just a year for your child to learn how to go to school, but a year for you to learn, too. And that takes some time for all of you.
Next year, maybe they will confidently walk to school, carrying their own things, and stand tall as they walk into their new classroom, excited about the year to come. I hope so.
It was lovely watching Kendall do that this morning.