I’ve never understood why moms cry on the first day of kindergarten.
Until this past week when I sent my own son to kindergarten.
The morning of, I was too consumed with packing his lunch, leaving on time, finding a parking spot, remembering where his classroom was, etcetera, to think about crying.
In fact, I was on my way out of the classroom tear-free and feeling great!
When I heard him…
He wasn’t crying. He wasn’t calling out for me.
I heard his little voice say, “Hi, I’m Colt. Nice to meet you.”
I turned back briefly to see his tiny hand extending toward another boy.
I was choking back the tears.
Trying to make it to the car before publicly bawling.
No WAY was I going to the Boo-Hoo Breakfast! (So the PTA could capture me ugly-crying for the yearbook? I don’t think so.)
I realized that kindergarten was the start of something new for Colt.
He was becoming his own person.
He was putting himself out there – vulnerable to disappointment.
What if someone didn’t like him? Or peer-pressured him? Or took advantage of his naiveté.
Or worse, what if he did those awful things to someone else?
I made it to work before losing my sh&t.
But then my coworker asked how it went…
Annnnnnnnnd I became the sobbing, blubbering mess I thought I’d never be.
I sat down at my desk and prayed.
Please let Colt be invited to sit at someone else’s (anyone’s??!!!) lunch table, and remind him to invite others to his.
(Also, if you could somehow make sure he actually eats his lunch, that would be a MIRACLE.)
Help him make good friend choices (like maybe not the first grader with the pack of cigarettes?)
Prepare him for disappointment and encourage him to be resilient.
Give him the confidence to be a leader (but not as bossy as his mother.)
Help him to know when to stand up for himself and when to walk away.
(And please help him remember NOT to use his ninja moves inside the classroom!!!)
Teach him to be cautious, but not afraid.
Remind him to be thankful for what he has (even if he doesn’t have the latest light-up tennis shoes, or a pet lizard, or a Range Rover, like the cool kid in class.)
But most of all, help his mother, Lord.
Help me to appreciate that my son is healthy, and happy, and that I’m lucky enough to be sweating the small stuff.
Help me to let him go, Lord.
Just a little.
(And should I be unable to do these things – maybe help me find a good psychiatrist?)