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To New Kindergarten Moms

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Although it is still 100 degrees outside, summer is over. And though summer’s end ushers in a time of schedules and homework and other new stressors, I cannot truthfully say I am sad to see it go. The last couple of weeks my house has been like a live reenactment of The Hunger Games—complete with kid-on-kid violence and a new, fresh disaster every hour.

Yet, under the jokes, and the deep natural urges to simply survive, I am a new Kindergarten mom. My first went to Kindergarten last year, but he is in a non-traditional class, and so I had a non-traditional experience. This year, I get to do it all again for the first time with my second. So even though I should be seasoned, I am brand new to everything. But even if I had done this all before, I never did it with this boy. This little joy who is at the same time my biggest challenge and my best friend. The one who looks just like his dad, but acts just like me. I am so proud, and anxious, and happy, and excited about this new step for him. I truly believe that this is a great and positive thing for him, and that school will teach him lessons better than I ever could, about friendships, and authority, and …math. These are things he needs to learn, a rite of passage he deserves to take.

And though my oldest is in the same class with many of the same faces, he too—and I along with him, will experience new things. He will meet new people and reach new goals. And I am sure every night, as he has every night since I can remember, will pray to be a good boy at school the next day. This is so important to the both of them, I refuse to ruin it with my tears.

So if you read posts in the coming days about how happy I am that school started, or how that happiness will double next week when the other two begin preschool, please know that is all real. That happiness is deep, well-deserved, hard-fought and greatly under-exaggerated. But along with that happiness is a scared, sad, heartbroken mom whose little babies are growing up too quickly.

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