I’m a new dad, but with all these ‘Back To School’ pictures and posts on Facebook, a few memories and thoughts flood into my head.
I think about all the mom’s who have spent nearly everyday of 5 years with their small child, helping to shape them into the person they’re going to be, and then letting them go out into the world on what I’m sure for most is their first small glimmer of independence. Trusting the school bus driver to get your kid to school safe, trusting the school employees to treat your child as you would, Trusting that your child can handle all the changes.
I still have 5 years to go and this thought is seriously giving me some anxiety. My precious boy… I wish I could hold your hand during that time. I imagine your ever so perceptive eyes taking in all the information as you decide which direction to walk, what words to say, who you will want to be your friends… which girls you’re going to chase on the playground, how intimidated you will be at first. It’s still so much time before this will happen for you, but I already want to take that fear away.
I’m sure it has to be 100x worse for mom’s. Especially a stay-at-home mom like my wife. I can only imagine the separation anxiety she’ll experience. Your precious son, who makes you laugh all day and you are available for their every need will now make someone else laugh, and someone else will take care of their needs. Every bit of the last 5 years has been to prepare your child for the world…. and now, to let someone else take them and shape them into a future citizen.
It’s possible, I just need to focus more on my experience with my first days of school to get through it. I did some silly little kid things…
Like giving all of my matchbox cars away to other students to make friends.
Or the time I peed myself after my first time going to the chalkboard.
Another time I used the wrong restroom. Our kindergarten room had two stalls. One apparently had a little boy painted on the door.
I remember getting mad at everyone when we sang ‘Whinny the Pooh, silly little bear all stuffed with fluff.’ Whinny was my friend and the kids were saying he was stuffed with fluff.
I remember a time when I went to get off the school bus and my mom wasn’t there. I tried to make the bus driver continue her route and drop me off after. She refused, and I had to walk down the road by myself, not knowing where my mom was.
Ha, these were all just in Kindergarten.
Ultimately, I turned out fine, but I would feel horrible if my boy had to experience any of these things. I both want to protect him from those things, and teach him that those things are minor events that will help shape him. Even though I think I’ll have a hard time letting him go out into the world, I have 5 years to worry about it, so I’ll hold him tighter until it’s time.