Yep. Extremely unprepared to send my first kiddo off to Kindergarten this morning.
I don't mean in the physical sense. We did all the things.. got him new clothes, a new backpack, picked up all the things on the school supply list. We were physically ready.
But mentally and emotionally I was wayyyy unprepared for Kindergarten!
I remember going through school and it was no big deal. It was exciting and fun and it was just my life and what I was supposed to do every day. Never questioned it, just did it. I don't exactly remember going off to Kindergarten (but my friend Stephanie remembers me grabbing her hand and giving her a tour around the first day!). And I don't reeeeally remember the first day of many other school years (except 9th grade - that one was stressful for me!).
But when it's your KID going off to school, it's a whoooole different ballgame. You're probably thinking "duh Leanne - it's obviously different" and I agree. The obvious answer is duh and "I could have told you that," even as someone who either doesn't have kids or has babies. Everything is different when you're a parent so DUH... obviously!
But the actual reality of the past week of my life was something I wasn't emotionally prepared for in the least. I didn't allow myself to cry (weird for me, right?) and I sort of pushed the whole thing aside.
My last day with Myles, running out to get new shoes, and trying to soak in every second. We attended an orientation for him where I accompanied him to his classroom, his teacher read them a book and then he drew a picture while she talked to the parents. It was nice to do with him. After orientation he started asking "so tomorrow I go to real kindergarten????" and "are you going to come with me mommy?" and I sucked back the tears I felt well up inside me.
Then last night, while getting dinner ready, telling hubs about the day, I finally let the tears out and I stood in the kitchen crying for 10 good, solid minutes. Myles asked why I was crying and I told him "I just can't believe you're going to kindergarten, buddy." He told me I didn't need to cry about it and everything will be okay (such a smart kid).
Then today came. He was up nice and early, watched some cartoons, walked off to brush his teeth and we got his clothes on. We took the pictures and the emotions came in like a tidal wave. Matt and I both dropped him off at school and in about 2 minutes flat we approached school, pulled around the circle and he hopped out, refusing to give me or daddy a kiss. Once out of the car, the aide pointed him toward the cafeteria where the kids go to wait and he was confused (I'm sure that confusion lasted all of 1 second but we had to pull away so I couldn't see him) and it broke my mommy heart.
Then the tears came again. I bawled all the way home.
We got home and Matt gave me a big long hug. Assuring me he'd be okay.
But here's the thing... it's not that I think he won't be okay. These people are professionals. They know what they're doing taking care of him and, yes, of course he'll be okay. Logically I know that - that's not what the tears were for.
In that moment I realized that I was grossly unprepared for the tidal wave of emotions involved in taking your child from their first school and the many good friends they've made there and plunking him into the "real world" where there are rules about the number of days out of school and getting there on time and packing (or paying for) lunches. It is all way more emotional and overwhelming than I ever could have pictured in my mind.
Silly of me, I am the Sergeant at Arms/Social Chair of my Rotary club and we planned a social function for tonight. I assumed I'd be the one there at 5:00, totally not thinking that today would be SUCH a big deal. Again, so unprepared for the emotions and the reality of what today is. Now I am thinking I'll be going late.
I wanted to write this out to all the parents of little ones - especially those who are sending their kid off for the first time. This isn't to scare you at all... more to say that the first day of Kindergarten is actually a really big deal... and to prepare you (as I felt so unprepared) for the wave of emotions you'll feel on that day. Leading up to it, it's just a day on the calendar. But in real life, it's so much more than that. Ohhhh so much more.
Let yourself feel the emotions.
Don't treat it like it's "just another day" - because it's not.
And enjoy every second of your babies while they're babies. This day comes all too fast!
To all the kiddos who started today/this year, best of luck, babies. We know you'll be okay. This is a super special moment for you and you're going to do great! Go conquer the world, loves!!
Wife. Daugher. Friend. Sister.