First School Day
A Mother's Thoughts on the First Day of School
"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." -Elizabeth Stone
At the School Bus Stop
It is oddly quiet in the house today. The reverberating of little feet are down a pair. My oldest pair. My daughter started school today. It was a big moment for her but mostly for me. This day I turned her over to the world. The world of kindergarten...the word "wolves" comes to mind.
I never thought I would have butterflies in MY stomach today...nor did I anticipate my now empty, aching heart. Alas it is so. I miss her sweet smile and even her steadfast pestering. Her face was full of enthusiasm and pride this morning as her father and I waited anxiously with her at the bus stop. The poor girl certainly received an earful of "now don't forget this'" and "don't do thats'." Our prime concern which we hoped was perfectly imprinted was to "never follow the bad kids" and "always be a leader". As we drilled her incessantly, she reassured me in her most grown up way that she was clear on her directives. With her chin up, she said seriously, "Don't worry Mommy, I know how to be a leader." I nearly snatched her back from the prowling bus driver and said, "It's okay honey, you don't have to be, you don't have to go out there all alone." and took her home. It took some resolve, I must say. My heart swelled near explosion when she hugged me tight and said so sincerely, "I will miss you Mommy." It was not the sweetness of the statement so much as the genuine courage she showcased upon releasing me. Darn it! I swore I wouldn't cry. I managed to hold it in and maintain an, "I am so excited for you" front. The damn burst however as that bus door closed shut; locking her away in what seemed a forever moment.
Goodbyes and Off to School!
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It's amazing the worries that compile into one large avalanche all in one morning. "What if she get's lost", "what if she doesn't eat lunch", "what if that scroungy boy she sat next to gets fresh" (I think I intuited that one from daddy's mind). Oh my sweet little innocent girl, have I provided you with the proper arsenal and shields of protection for this big and sometimes harsh world?
Well, there's always her little sister. She's three and still within my protective clutches. Sadly, I have allowed her to have free reign today over her new unbullied domain. Sadly because while it's fun for her, it's complete selfishness on my part. You see I am now in mourning and have no intention of setting aside this moment of self indulgent pity. Memories of my big girl not long ago suckling and cuddling have filled my day. Tiny hands and wobbly legs. Curiosity is biting my own nails as I pace wondering if she will remember to go potty or is happy and enjoying her new world without me there. Don't get me wrong. This is a joyful day and one I have anticipated with eager pride. Today is the day bragging rights are put to the test and I am in no way concerned for her acedemic prowess. Funny how self absorbed we become as parents believing we are our childrens only salvation in life.
As the clock ticks by and I plan the minute I will await her school bus (which will be much earlier than neccessary) with eager questions of how it all went and did she indeed go potty...I think of all the mothers before me who have endured this moment. The bittersweet irony of how we all dream of this day of freedom. The things we will get done. The time we will have. Yet when it comes, we are hesitant to relinquish such carefully preserved innocence.
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