“I got this,” I tell myself. Easy. Piece of cake. I’ll send my child off to kindergarten and I won’t shed a tear.
With my previous two “first day of Kindergarten drop-offs,” I did not shed a tear until returning to my car and realizing, “Wow,” NO TURNING BACK. This is the next big step in life.
On August 18, my youngest son, Ian, will reach this milestone, and I feel relief tinged with sadness. I look forward to delving deep into the pursuit of developing my prenatal fitness business, but I will miss the innocent encounters with my little one during our Mom’s Day off revelry. The simplicity of throwing baseballs in the backyard will be replaced with Mom now shifting into high gear to pursue her dreams. And succeeding in the pursuit will result in summers free to spend with kids and travel sprinkled in as I teach trainings across the country.
The “Last First Day of Kindergarten” upon closer analysis, could be construed with a melancholic tone. Woe to the mother who approaches this day with a feeling of loss. It is a step among many she will take to loosen the ties that bind.
So here are some tips for easing into the first day of kindergarten:
- Share your excitement: Talk about how excited you are about this big step your child’s life. Share memories of your first day of kindergarten.
- Talk about the daily routine: Older siblings can be especially helpful with this. Discuss the flow of the day. When is recess? Where will they eat lunch? Tell them about gym, music and art classes.
- Transition from daily naps: If your child will be attending full day kindergarten, start moving away from daily naps before school starts, so that he or she will not be disrupted by this change in schedule.
- Save the tears: Your tears will only upset your little one on her first day of school. Mom or Dad has to be the strong one. Shed your tears when you get back to your car.
We are excited around our household for this mysterious “first day” that has been “tomorrow” for so long (at least in my son’s mind). Then there are the questions; “Will I be able to lay down and take a nap if I get tired?” “Will I have to share my pencils?” “Will they have Star Wars toys in the classroom?”
My 7-year-old daughter, a kindergarten alumna, swoops in with the authoritative answers as she recaps her own kindergarten highlight reel to him. She knows all the ins and outs of kindergarten and she is eager to support her little bro on this much anticipated journey.
So, no, I’m really not too saddened by the last first day of kindergarten. I am reminded of my mother, who returned to college at the age of nearly 50 to finish her degree after I, her last of 10 children, headed off to school. The time to pursue your dreams does return, so do enjoy those precious early childhood days. They go by so very, very quickly.