I’ve been reading so many stories about first days of school with a mixture of nostalgia, melancholy and amusement. There are tales of weeping, tantrums, and separation anxiety. The kids are having a few melt downs too.
When I dropped my daughter off her very first day of kindergarten, so young, so tiny, so vulnerable, I cried the entire drive home. By the time my son was ready for school, I was marking off the calendar squares with unconcealed glee.
Still as classes wound down and summer quickly advanced, I was just as excited to have my little munchkins home with me all day. Six weeks later, I couldn’t wait for the start of school again.
I’ve been there, done that…
Parents are going through bouts of apprehension… is she ready for school, is he going to make friends, will she miss me, will he ever stop crying?
It will get better, for you and for your child. The tears (from both of you) will end and the excitement of learning, of making new friends, of a whole new world opening up will happen.
Those days of crying when left at school will be replaced by crying because they don’t want to leave, and at some point your children will call their teacher ‘Mom.’ This is not a bad thing.
Every year there will be some new sort of mayhem. Changing schools, not getting into a class with friends, bullies, Mean Girls, being assigned a teacher your child doesn’t like, boyfriends, girlfriends, breakups, homework, sports, tests, dances… blah, blah, blah, wha, wha, wha…
It’s all part of the education process, it’s all part of growing up… for all of us.
Yes, it can be heartbreaking. It can be infuriating, it can be embarrassing. But it’s never the end of the world. It may feel like it, it may take hard work to not let it become that tragic, but a few tears are the least of it.
I know the great joys of having a child who absolutely loved school. The prefect student with the golden touch. Everything she attempted she excelled in, and was every teacher’s dream. She liked school so much, she’s still going… two more years of grad school.
I also know the heartache of having the child who has to struggle and fight every step of the way. Who became so disillusioned and fearful because of his horrible experiences with horrible teachers and bullies, he left high school to earn his GED. He’s now learning about what he loves at technical school.
There isn’t much another parent can tell me about that I haven’t seen or encountered too.
I’m at that stage in life where I can look back on my children’s school history and smile at all the drama these other parents are putting themselves through now. They have just gotten on this crazy roller coaster, and the ride is only beginning. Hang on it’s going to get scary, but at the end of it, you’ll be ready to do it all again.