New things are always scary as anyone can tell you. You never know if the experience is going to go well or if it's going to tank completely. The not knowing is probably one of the biggest fears. To that note, my first baby is off to kindergarten this year. He's been an only child and was home-schooled for preschool. Needless to say, the first-day jitters for the kindergarten classroom were enormous.
Fears that he wouldn't do well were high. What if he didn't get along with other kids? What if I hadn't prepared him enough for kindergarten? Was there anything else that I could have done to get him ready? While he was bubbling with excitement about going to kindergarten, his mommy was falling apart.
I spent weeks making sure that he would have everything he needed. School clothes shopping, getting school supplies, finding a lunchbox backpack combo that he loved, and making sure we went to the open house so that he could meet his teacher ahead of time. The way his eyes lit up as he explored his classroom gave me high hopes that everything would be alright.
At the same time, my nerves shot through the roof. Would he really be okay without mommy for an entire school day? The nerves caused me to reevaluate what I was truly feeling. As it turns out, your first born going to school tends to fuel high emotions.
As I confronted my emotions, I realized that most of what I was worried about was being without him. For the last five years, I'd been his primary lifeline. I was always there to take care of him, and he was a constant presence. Being without him for those eight hours of school time was new. There was extra time in the day that hadn't been there previously. There was "me" time, something that definitely hadn't been around for quite some time.
Another feeling that came from it was loneliness. It's disconcerting to go from having child laughter or conversations to going to nearly complete silence. Oh goodness, the silence is probably the biggest part of the loneliness. Within the first few hours of him being in school, I felt like I was going crazy. There was always something going on or something that we could do together. Being alone, I found myself looking for things to do to keep my mind busy. I ended up tiring myself out cleaning in the first little while just to keep my mind from driving itself around in circles.
However, the biggest thing I probably felt was proud. He'd made it this far, and he was a big boy now. I'd watched him grow from a tiny, squealing baby to a rambunctious and curious toddler. To now see him go from that toddler to being a school-aged, intelligent little dude made me swell with pride.
Even if it took a while for him to get the hang of kindergarten, he'd be okay. He was resilient, and we'd done everything we could to prepare him. It would be a learning curve for both of us, but I think over time we'd both be okay. So, mamas, keep in mind as they go into the school year that everything will work out.