Our schools started July 30th. It's way to early for me. We need at least 2 more weeks of summer but this time I wanted to delay starting for another reason. My third child, and my daughter, was starting the first grade. Last year she went to 1/2 day, 4 day kindergarten at our church. I also work at the church so I saw her constantly. This year: new school, all day, all new kids, knows no one in her class, etc... I have dreaded this day for at least a year. I almost thought about it every day while she was in Kindergarten. The first day did not go so well. "Please stay with me Mom. Do I have to go to school today? Can't I wait until tomorrow?" Our mornings were not so good either. She did not like anything. Her hair, her teacher, the day is too long, etc.. I struggled every day to remain screamfree. Calmly talking her through each issue and telling her I know how she feels. (I even let her ride the bus-gasp!) Day after day-and then she got sick. Yep, after 6 days of school. She missed 2 days and when she returned on Tuesday the teacher had to peel her off of me. I thought I would just lose it. Couldn't I just stay with her? Why did she need to go today? Why not tomorrow? All the way to the car I cried. And I prayed. I thought long and hard about letting go and how now it's her time to experience this world, make new friends, and learn so many exciting things. I can't stop that. The words of Hal kept ringing in my ears: "You are to be your child's tour guide through life." It's time to let go. She made it through the day and got a great note from the teacher. Today was our first day of her waking up and not telling me her stomach hurt. We went to school peacefully, walked to class and I walked away. After 14 years all my kids are in school all day, every day. My two older sons are in middle school. They are both out of the house by 6:20 a.m. It's my middle child's first year in middle school. He is doing great. I thought I would never get him out of bed in the morning. He jumps up, gets a shower, and is out the door. What a shock. Isn't this what we prepare them for? Letting go. It's not that easy.
By the way, Jenna is putting her arms out for our dog-not for me!