Hi ho. Hi ho. It's off to school they go! I will cry AND dance. And I am not alone.
Tomorrow is the day!! I am sending my two older kids to all day school and I am on a roller coaster ride of emotions because of it. Let's ride it together, shall we? Buckle up.
I have cried every year I sent the older one off. Yes, I cried the hardest when it was Kindergarten. But I cried every year since, too. They look so small walking away. They're leaving me after two months of being my daily companion. I am entrusting all of my most important being - emotional, physical, mental, social and academic - to someone else. For eight hours. So I cry.
The Kindergarten send off is even worse. The longest they have been away from me. The largest set of routines, rules and expectations they have ever had. The sheer number of things they must learn - emotionally, physically, mentally, socially and academically - and I can't help them. I can't walk them through it. I can't hold them if they cry or get hurt or frustrated. This is the first step in growing up. And so it is the first step in growing away. And it hurts.
But, BUT, it is also good. The summer is long. As a single momma where the kids and I rarely get a break from one another? The summer is loooooong. We are all ready for routines. We are all ready for a break from all this togetherness. We are all ready for the fun, joy, learning and accomplishments of school year. We are all ready for some time away from one another and our yellow house. To cultivate friendships. To grow. To be our own person and not one of a pack. I have been lucky to have solo time with each kid because of their spacing. I am excited to have that time with Parley. (I am really excited to let her nap.) I am excited to work my business during my blocked times instead of here and there. I am excited for ME time. It's been a few months. But that is only one side of the coin.
If you are that momma that cries on the first day of school. I will cry with you.
If you are that momma that celebrates on the first day of school. Just give me a second will ya? I will celebrate with you.
To the teachers (and I was one), good luck. Please remember, they are little still. They have so much to learn and they desperately want to please you and get it right. They won't always. It's impossible. But it is those moments that are the teachable ones. Where you teach them the power of failure and trying again. Of apologies and the growing pains of friendships. Of celebrating the successes, their own and those of others. It is a tall order to do that on top of all that curriculum. But I know you can. And you will. But most of all, please love them and be kind. I am giving you the dancing stars from my soul. And even though I am smiling and waving as I walk away, inside my eyes are crying and my heart is beating - I love you, I miss you, stay safe, I'll see you soon.
And, yes, I am crying a I write this. No shame in my momma game.
To those mommas on the first day of school. We can high five with one hand and wipe tears with the other. I see you.