She held my hand excitedly with her backpack on her back and ready to conquer Kindergarten. “I am so excited for school. I have been waiting so long to go,” exclaimed Nikki. I took a deep breath and knew it was time to let go a little more.
After months of preparing myself mentally and physically for the beginning of Nikki’s first day and week of school. It appears that the heart still pulls all the weight no matter how much we think we are ready. I re-lived those sleepless nights with the anticipation of Nikki starting school. It all came down to this one day and wondering how Nikki will do.
So many questions went running through my head like will she make friends? Will she adjust? Will she cry?
When the day finally arrived. Nikki woke up excited that it was her first day of school. We started our morning routine and we made sure to take those first day photos with her beautiful poster designed by ID Inspired Designs. We packed her lunch and were ready to start her school day.
We arrived early and walked to school together (while I was holding her hand tightly). As we walked, Nikki kept telling me how happy and excited she was. She went on to tell me that she is going to learn so much and grow. At this point I started to feel that lump in your throat when you are about to cry. I stopped myself and said, “You have to be strong! Don’t let her see you cry!”
We went inside the classroom and the teacher directed us to find a cubby. As Nikki hung her jacket and bag, I realized that I have an independent young lady and could not have been more proud.
At this point it was time to sit at the carpet to start the day. Without hesitation, Nikki went on her way. I approached Nikki and I wished her a magical day and told her how much I loved her. Nikki turned to me and said, “Ok mom. Bye. I’m ok. You can go now.”
As I walked to my car wiping the little tears that were making their way down. I started to think about that very first day that she was born. I remember the doctor placing her on my chest and with her curious eyes looking up at me as if she was reconfirming that I was her mother. I looked down at her and said, “Welcome to the world Nikki. We have been waiting a really long time for you. I promise that I will always be there to protect you.” But how can I keep that promise when I have released her into the world of school?
By the time I got to my car, there were no more tears but waterfalls at this point. I lost control of the overwhelming emotions that I worked so hard to contain. But I couldn’t as I remembered how hard it was to conceive her after my miscarriage and how grateful we were to finally hold her in our arms. I wasn’t ready to let go no matter how much I said I was. However, the tears were the release that I needed to reassure me that she was going to be ok. My tears were a lot better than having her tears on this first special day. She was ready to let me go and that I am grateful for.
The rest of the day I watched my clock to see when it was time to pick her up again. I couldn’t wait to see her and hug her and ask how her day went.
End of First Day
I waited patiently outside to see my child’s glowing face coming out from the classroom. Nikki came out with the same excited smile that she went in with that day and I knew it was a success! She had a great day and that was all that mattered to me at that moment.
First Full Week
Luckily the first full week of school had no tears from either party and each day was enjoyed as Nikki asked to go back to school. This made the mornings much easier to cope with. What we did find is that afterschool was harder as Nikki would be very tired from the long day. Some days she would squeeze in a little power nap which helped her the rest of the evening until bedtime. The days that a nap wasn’t a possibility made it a little more difficult for all of us as cranky would be her middle name. But this is the adjustment and transition phase which we hope is just a phase. However, the silver lining is that she is enjoying the daily stimulation of school and all that needs to be learned.
We always take it one day and week at a time with adjusting along the way. It seems that we do a lot of that in this journey we call parenthood.
As we just completed the second week I realized something from the first day. Maybe my promise hasn’t been broken to protect her. By raising her to protect herself when I am not there is the best way to keep my promise to her….At the end of the day, I am just happy to say that I survived my first week of Kindergarten!
Until next time…Happy Parenting!