This summer between the move and the new job I was also preparing my daughter for her first year of school. That's right, it was time to watch my baby make those first real steps towards independence. I had promised myself that I would not fall into the typical cliche of the mother who bawls like a baby when her child goes to school for the first time. I was stronger than that. I am super mom.... I was completely delusional.
I don't care who you are, when your child walks through the hallowed doors towards education for the first time it hurts. The umbilical cord connecting you with your child may have been cut at birth, but there is an invisible one still holding you together. The first day of kindergarten begins to sever that tie. (Some day you will be thankful...just not today.)
My husband went with me to take our daughter to her first day of school. We walked her to the doors and waited until the bell rang to announce the starting of her day. We were proud that she wasn't crying and clinging to us like some of the other children were with their parents. Our daughter was strong and independent. (Huzzah! We are good parents!) As we left her, I felt the pressure in my chest getting bigger. I was determined to fight the tears off. (I was NOT going to be that mom!)
When we got in the car, I couldn't hold them off any longer. I became exactly what I had promised myself I wouldn't be. Instead of The Desperate Mom, I was The Bawling Mom. I bravely tried to stem the flow of my tears, but I heard something coming from the seat next to me. It was laughter. My wonderful, darling, supportive husband was. . .laughing at me! I am sitting there with my heart breaking so that a part of it could stay with her, and the bum is laughing at me. (He must have a heart of stone!) The worst part was what he said to me, "Awww, Toughie, I thought you weren't going to cry." (I responded with a right jab to his shoulder, and the silent treatment, which he probably enjoyed.)
You find out somethings on your child's first day of kindergarten. One - your child is stronger than you think they are. Two - you are not as strong as you think you are. Three - your spouse is obviously some kind of alien life form because they remain unscathed emotionally from this experience. I understand now why some people home school their children. They can't let go! (It might be a little unhealthy, but I can understand why.)
Once you step off the emotional rollercoaster, you realize that school is a great thing for your child. They learn independence and responsibility, and they grow socially. My daughter has already made two friends that will clearly be her friends forever. I am proud of her. I am not, however, looking forward to the day I lose my other two girls to the school system. For now, they are all mine.