I said this phrase approximately 7 million times to anyone who would listen during the summer of 2009.
I said it until I believed it. I had myself worked up into a near frenzy as August approached. A lump would form in my throat at the mere thought of dropping him off on that dreadful first day.
The summer of ’09 was not a good time for me. We had recently had our third failed domestic adoption and my baby was starting kindergarten. In our plan for our family, we had never in our wildest imaginations thought that Ryan would be starting kindergarten as an only child. We assumed we would have 2 or 3 kids by that point. We desperately longed for another child, but at that time we had no prospects. This added to my apprehension more than anything.
My husband, while tolerating the prospect better than I, was also not taking it well. As the stay at home parent, he felt his job security in jeopardy.
This was a
big huge step for us. Ryan had never attend preschool or mother’s day out. He spent his first five years at home, hanging out with dad everyday. He knew his stuff and socialized at play groups. We loved hanging out with him at home, and we just didn’t see the need to send him to preschool. He was our sweet ‘sunshine man,’ the best little blonde thing that had ever happened to us. And now he was going to…gasp…school.
It may have helped had he wanted to go to school, but he had zero desire to go to kindergarten. His personality is such that he is apprehensive about trying new things (those who know me personally realize that this is a huge understatement).
Ryan and I both cried the first day of school at drop off. Parents weren’t allowed to walk them in, we had to drop them at the front door and drive away. It was brief and painful like ripping off a band-aid. Then I took my puffy eyes and Kleenex box to the ”Boo-hoo Breakfast’ for all the parents of kindergarteners. To my dismay, I was the only one crying. I was betrayed by the false advertising on the event flyer.
I felt like the only mom that was having a hard time with this milestone.
Ryan and I both cried for several days with drop off, but by pick up he was doing great and having fun. Within a couple weeks, he was enjoying his new routine. The transition was not super smooth, but it was also not ‘the end of the world’ as I had imagined. There were tears, but no full fledged ‘come aparts.’
Some things that helped us with the transition that I want to share with other moms:
1. Read Books About Kindergarten
is a good choice as well.
2. Pray Over Your Child in The Car
I probably didn’t do this enough at the beginning, but speaking scriptures about peace and wisdom over your child on the way to school, not only calms them but you as well. I do this now at bedtime and anytime I drop off at school.
3. Don’t Hide Your Emotions
Seeing your sadness lets them know that you care and you will miss them too.
4. Know that it DOES Get better
It takes time to transition, but it does get easier.
This year my son is a big third grader. I wouldn’t say that he was excited about third grade, but he didn’t complain and there were no tears on that first day. As we walked across the parking lot for orientation, he reached up and grabbed my hand. I squeezed it back, and I fought a different tear this time. I wondered how much longer he would still want to hold my hand, how much longer until he’s too big and too cool. I hope not for awhile.
Many of you find the transition of each school year to be no big deal and that is awesome. But for those who need a little extra grace during this time, please know you are not alone.
Did you have a hard time with your kids starting kindergarten? If so what did you find to be helpful?