Back-to-school is lurking around the corner. What emotions does that instill in you?! For some, it’s a welcomed sight to send kids off and get back to a normal routine. For others, it means back to work. For others, it means sending your baby off for the first time.
Welcome me. I once was the teacher who welcomed summer and wished it continued on with it’s wonderful journey of long stressless days, fun summer nights, and beach trips. Since being at home for the last 5 years as a stay-at-home mom, I have enjoyed letting long summer nights lead into long chilly fall nights. Pool and splash pad day trips lead into into fall festival and apple picking trips. Not being stuck to a schedule has been wonderful. I somewhat took advantage of it by spending long weekends away with family. Begging my husband to take days off to spend with us. But, in half a week, my first baby heads to school for a full five days a week. She begins her journey. I’m feeling a lot of feelings over this.
As a former Kindergarten teacher, I welcomed my lovely new kiddos on that first day. Prying them out of the arms of their parents who asked if they could stay a bit to make sure their kids were okay. I never understood these emotions. I very calmly and friendly told those parents that it is in the best interest of everyone to say your swift goodbyes and that all would be okay. I welcomed cute little 5 and 6 year olds into the classroom, many of them all smiles and hellos, a few with some tears. I sent parents home or to work- some running away to enjoy the time and others with tears in their eyes.
Now it’s my turn to send my baby off to full-time, 7 hours a day, 5 days a week school. A pit in my stomach forms and tears well up when I think about it. I’m now being that parent who wants to walk my little one to her classroom, give her hugs and kisses, and want to linger a little to know she will be okay. I struggle with wanting to send her off on the bus, something that might be super hard but overall might be easiest or driving her to school. I struggle letting her go off on her own or follow the bus to watch her walk into school.
The hardest part is being constantly excited about school for my daughter, while my heart and head are crying that she will be going off for the first time without me for 35 hours a week. I have never been away from her for that long.
Despite my feelings, I know my daughter is going to love school. She is sweet and compassionate and will make friends quickly. She is eager to learn and is so excited to be a kindergartener. I just sit here, writing this, praying that she continues to have a heart and mind eager to learn, she is blessed with a teacher who showers her with love and compassion while pushing her to be her best, and that she finds a group of friends she feels comfortable with to be beautiful self. I pray these things for all of your kids, whether they are entering a school for the very first time or heading to their last year of high school.