ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Mother's Confession: The First Day of School

Updated on August 30, 2015
Sherry Thornburg profile image

Sherry Thornburg builds from pictures worth a thousand words or pictures that prompt a thousand words.

Bright Smiles and Backpacks

Just before leaving home.
Just before leaving home. | Source

The Big Day Comes

The day had come when a parent experiences a small breaking away from their child. All the wonderful years of raising up the baby to boyhood had led to this one special day; the day my first son went to school. My greatest question was, how would it go?

All the preparations had been made. The shopping was all done. We had several sets of school uniforms in his dresser. Not a very strict uniform policy as it happened. He had a choice of long pants or shorts and three or four different colors for shirts. The school supplies had been dropped off ahead, as had been instructed. They had been bought at a local store already bundled up in a set by school name and grade. School shots and registration paperwork had been completed, or at least the first phase of it, as I found out later. It was amazing what went into getting a child into school.

We rose early that morning. He was all excited. He got dressed in his uniform; a dark green polo shirt almost the color of his eyes and khaki pants. I made him a simple breakfast, put his new backpack on his shoulders and took a picture of him on the front porch steps behind the railing I wound climbing roses into. The leaves were a bit lighter than his shirt. He smiled big to me with green eyes twinkling.

School Craft Poem

Poem that came with a school craft project.
Poem that came with a school craft project. | Source

That First Walk to School

We then walked together to the large brick building down the street. He was still all excitement and anticipation as we went. As we passed the other houses in the neighborhood, I wondered how he would handle our parting. I’d been warned not to linger. Some said lead him to the door, but don’t go in. Don’t give him the time to realize you weren’t staying. That seemed silly to me as he knew full well I wouldn’t be staying in class with him. We had already gone through that. I would leave and pick him up at the appointed time in the playground. Yes, some kids got clingy at that final moment when the teacher they have known all their lives gets replaced with a stranger. However, this really wasn’t the first time I had left him in the care of someone else. He had done a few short stays in day care and had done just fine.

Then I remembered the time he had refused to leave the car when I tried to drop him once. That day he had to be coaxed out to his car seat and into his sitter’s house and I had to sit with him for half an hour to get him to let go and settle in.

I banished that thought. It had only happened that one time. There was no reason to think there would be a repeat of that today. I never found out what had gotten into him that morning either. He was just fine and happy as could be when I picked him up later.

Years Flying By

My second son on his first day to school.
My second son on his first day to school. | Source
Selfie of an independent young man heading off to college.
Selfie of an independent young man heading off to college. | Source

Letting Go of His Hand

We reached the school yard with its surrounding playgrounds and circled to the front of the building joined by a parade of other families. We passed through the front doors that faced the offices and then turned left into the new Kindergarten wing. The hall was narrow and crowded with parents and children. I held his hand until we reached his classroom . . . and then defiantly walked him in rather than just dropping him off.

The teacher stood by the door talking to another parent. She frowned at me as I passed like a guard about to challenge a trespasser, but I ignored her. This was my moment as well as his. I suddenly needed, needed to know how it would turn out. How would he handle this new world? Would he make friends easily? Would he see all the strangers and cry? Would he run back to me? I needed to know. It was purely instinct. I knew I was the one becoming clingy at this moment, but didn't care. I couldn’t leave before I was sure it would be alright.

He walked in ahead of me and didn’t seemed to notice that I had let go of his hand. The classroom was a big open vision of contrasting colors and shapes with posters on the walls and toys and pillows in one corner, books in shelves and tables set up with miniature chairs set around them instead of traditional desks. It was chaotic with tiny children roaming here and there looking over everything and talking to each other in a noisy babble.

It was loud and vibrant with all the excitement that a room full of five and six year olds can create. I suddenly remembered an old Sunday School teacher commenting that such atmospheres were akin to letting a sack of squirrels lose in a room. I laughed to myself as my fertile imagination converted these new school children into speedy grey squirrels running from attraction to attraction in different directions.

However, the squirrel I was most interested in was the one in the hunter green polo directly in front of me. He had stopped in place taking in the whole of it. His back was to me so I couldn’t see what impression the chaos was having on him. It took a life time, a few precious seconds . . . and then he turned to me. His eyes were bright with happiness. He had a big grin on his face. He just looked at me for a second and said, “Bye mommy,” and then ran to join the other squirrels. Without another glance he blended into the chaos and I was left standing there, realizing I didn’t need to be there anymore.

Yesterday. my youngest gave me the same smile as he drove off to college; another letting go.

© 2015 Sherry Thornburg


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Besarien profile image


      21 months ago

      My son just started college this month. I empathize. Great photos and a very touching hub.

    • profile image

      John Terrell 

      3 years ago

      That was well worded and absolutely beautiful.

    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      yes, I had been there too, my daughter was wailing for me and now she is off to college on her own.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)