Monday was the day I had been dreading for months, the first day of school. It seems like Cady started kindergarten yesterday. I was a hot, bawling mess that day. I feared it would be worse with James. He’s the baby. After Monday it is all “big” kid from then on out.
I put off picking up his birth certificate for as long as possible. I didn’t register him until the last minute. School supplies and clothes were not added to the shopping list until much too late. One night I laid in bed thinking of him walking into school with his too big backpack and his little lunch kit, and I cried myself to sleep. I was a hot, bawling mess.
So Monday? Monday was a day I was not looking forward to. But it came anyway. I dressed the kids in their back to school outfits. I prepared the lunches. I took the obligatory first day of school photos. I put them in the car to shuttle them off to school. And I waited for the tears.
With Cady, it was old hat. Pulled up, told her I loved her and to have a great day, and she jumped out of the car and walked to class. Just like every day last year. I asked James if he wanted me to drop him off like Cady or if he wanted me to walk him to his classroom.
“You have to walk me in so that I’ll be safe.”
My chest tightened, and I blinked back tears. “Don’t cry in front of him, don’t cry in front of him, don’t cry in front of him.” I chanted to myself. I held his hand all the way to his classroom. He walked in and went straight to his desk. I bent down for a kiss and a hug, which I got.
And I was dismissed. I walked back to my car chanting, “don’t cry in the school, don’t cry in the school, don’t cry in the school.” I made it through the parking lot and into the office with no tears. And then I made it through the day. And then through picking them up. And through the night and the next day and the next.
My babies are growing up, and I guess, maybe, I am too.
Linking up with Dude Mom for Wordful Wednesday.