In the weeks leading up to Levi’s preschool graduation in June, I cried almost every day in anticipation of my first-born heading off to kindergarten.
Ok, I bawled. I’m talking big, ugly tears and a chronic lump in my throat. I just couldn’t believe that my baby was heading to elementary school. I mean, he’s so small for his age!
Thank goodness for this waterproof mascara. Seriously.
Based on my tear-stained history, I assumed that actually sending him off to kindergarten last week would trigger a similar emotional response. But I didn’t cry on the first day of school. Not one single tear. Just a little sniffle or two that I managed to stifle while driving back home on the tree-lined street of his school.
What the hell? It’s not like I wasn’t feeling all the feels: excitement, anxiety, joy, sadness. Was it possible that I had cried myself dry back in June?
I thought the tears would certainly reappear on Asa’s first ever day of nursery school earlier this week, but again — dry eyes. In fact, the whole morning seemed a little bit anticlimactic; he attended camp four mornings a week at a different preschool this summer, and I was already used to leaving him for a few hours every day.
Asa, on the other hand, did shed a few tears on Tuesday. He wasn’t too happy about putting away his lunch box (he really likes carrying it), and he started to cry when he anticipated that I was about to leave. But after we did the special goodbye hug-Eskimo kiss-high five-fist bump-thumbs up-kiss routine that Levi and I made up, Asa turned his attention back to his puzzle and didn’t even watch me walk out the door.
As expected, Levi also cried when it was time for me to leave him on his first day of school. He was excited about starting kindergarten but has been having some separation anxiety lately, especially with me. Plus, the night before school started, he confided that he was nervous about making friends.
So it must’ve been a huge relief when a girl he knew from camp — a first grader, if you can believe it! — ran over to him when we entered the building to say hi. His kindergarten teacher followed and suggested that she and the first grade girl walk Levi to the classroom. Watching all three of them hold hands was the sweetest, most reassuring thing ever, and I know it must’ve made Levi feel extra special.
Levi was a little bit weepy again on the second day of kindergarten, but every day since has been getting easier and easier to say goodbye. Then this morning, he practically jumped out of the car in the drop-off line when he saw one of his teachers walking into school. I rolled down the window to blow him a kiss, but he ran after her without even looking back.
As I excited as I was to see Levi so happy, I was a tiny bit shocked that he skipped our big goodbye. And then I almost did cry. Maybe.
Did you cry on your kid’s first day of school this year? Did they cry — or did they jump onto the bus or run through the school doors without even saying goodbye?
PS: No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Levi and Asa got much-needed haircuts in between the first day of kindergarten and the first day of nursery.