Last night I walked sweaty palmed and red faced into a room full of strangers, half of which looked as nervous as I was. Some looked scared, some were sweating, others had hands that couldn’t stop shaking, while some seemed confident, bored, or just over it. The Kindergarten teacher greeted us all at the door as we entered and directed us to little tiny desks with our childrens’ names on them. I found “Braden” right at the front of the class. I immediately wondered if this would always be his spot or if it was random just for the Open House. I looked around the room and saw little everything. Little chairs, little tables, little bookshelves. Fit for a five year old. Fit for Braden. I sat there trying to pay attention to the information his teacher was giving the parents but my brain was melting. My little baby, my first born, would be sitting in this classroom in a week. Without me! Learning to read, write, make friends, and heaps of other things I was unable to teach him myself. I was so overwhelmed I had to keep reminding myself to stop shaking. When she said we could leave, I was the first one out the door, maybe even the building. I fled like a bat out of hell. My anxiety coupled with the fact that my son was starting school had me an absolute wreck. I know he is ready and I am so, so, proud of him. But it’s so hard for me to let him go. People keep telling me “that’s life.”, “he’ll be fine!”, “every kid goes to school, you’re not the only one feeling this way”, and while they are ALL right, that does not make it any easier. I have so many worries and concerns. Did I teach him enough? Did I prepare him enough? What if he gets bullied? What if he loses sight of who he is? I guess these are things we all ask ourselves.
After a nearly sleepless night, I woke up feeling reassured. He will be fine. I have to have faith that Daniel and I taught him enough to prepare him for this next step in his journey. Braden, if by chance you can read this within the next few years, I want you to know that no matter how much I might cry next week, it’s not because school is scary, it’s because watching you grow up is scary. I know some day you will shy away from my hugs, or make me drop you off around the corner, and that’s okay. As long as you let me cry on this day.