I didn’t cry when my firstborn went to kindergarten.
Does that make me a bad mom? Before your initial gasps turn to hasty judgement, let me explain.
When the first day of kindergarten came for my oldest child, I was more surprised than anyone by my lack of tears. I wasn’t sad. I was so incredibly excited for him. He was excited and he was ready with his new backpack, fresh haircut, and perfectly clean sneakers. He’s smart and independent and I knew he’d blossom. I couldn’t wait to see what awesome adventures he’d get himself into. So, I didn’t cry. I wasn’t sad. What I was, was scared. More than that; I was terrified.
My mind swirled with questions I couldn’t possibly answer.
I felt like I needed more time to shelter him from the harsh realities of life outside mommy’s arms. My mind swirled with questions I couldn’t possibly answer. Were the teachers going to love and cherish him? Was he going to make friends? Would he be kind to those who were left alone on the playground or would be the one left out? Would peer pressure prove to be too much? Would an angry lunch lady make him cry? Would he miss his mom?
I need my baby to feel loved. Even when he fails, and he will, I want him to know that there is always going to be someone who is proud of him. Would his teacher be that person or would he face ridicule like he’s never known?
So, I stood there on that first day watching him walk away to a new adventure holding onto both straps of a backpack that was nearly as tall as he was. I was welling with pride and shaking, not from tears, but from fear of releasing my firstborn child into a cruel and unforgiving world, praying that he’d be kind and receive kindness. Praying that he’d find a friend and be a friend. Praying that he would feel loved, but still rush home missing mommy.
Lord, protect my baby as he grows and forgive me for not crying on his first day of kindergarten.