This past week school started for lots of kiddos and after reading many posts about their adventures in FirstDayLand, it got me to reminiscing about Joey's (aka The Oldest Melonhead) first day of Kindergarten. (Which btw is too many years ago to say without incriminating myself!)
Like so many young mothers before and since, I had spent the night before picking out just the right thing for my big boy to wear on his first day of school. We had been to the pre-enrollment meet-and-greet where I had met his teacher, the principal and familiarized him with the school layout. I had carefully packed his lunch, set the alarm to give us plenty of time, and then tried to sleep. I worried all night long whether or not he was ready for this big step. (Forget about whether I was ready or not...that would never happen!) Would he be one of the children who could not handle separation...would he make friends...would the teacher be kind...would he beat me home? You know...all the things mothers tend to make mountains out of.
When we arrived at school that next morning, I got out of the car with Jenn on one hip and him by the hand. As we came to the sidewalk leading to his classroom, he turned and looked at me with what only can be described as the stank eye and asked if he could go on alone. I could have died on the spot, but not wanting to interfere with his (might I say sudden) sense of independence, said yes. As I stood there watching him walk on alone...shoulders back, chin held high...to that HUGE classroom with only his Fonzie lunchbox for protection against the big, cruel world of schoolhouse bullies I knew were waiting to pounce on my baby...he suddenly stopped...turned...saw the tears streaming down my face and with a roll of his eyes said "Oh, come on"! I don't think my feet ever touched the sidewalk getting me to where he was waiting. I respectfully walked a couple of steps behind him, resisted the urge to kiss him in front of the other kids and thanked God for giving me this plucky little boy! Once in my car, I stopped crying long enough to thank God once more for giving Cat Daddy and I the good sense to raise him with the self confidence needed to fearlessly face the unknown and you know...except for that one, brief, precious moment in time...I don't think he's looked back since!
Young mothers everywhere...heed my words. They go from Kindergarten...... to a senior in high school in a blink of an eye. So if at all possible...don't blink...don't breathe...heck...don't even turn your back for a moment....'cause if you do...