Man, oh man, I am feeling all of my feels today. It was my son’s first day of Pre-K and I was very excited and optimistic for him to go. He isn’t switching schools, he knows his teachers, and he is in class with the kids that he already knows. So I just assumed he would be fine.
But I was very wrong.
It all started the day before when I mentioned to him that summer was over and it was time to go back to school. While he wasn’t happy, he didn’t throw a huge fit over it. He just cried a little every time I brought it up.
Flash forward to bed time – he did not want to go to sleep. I think he was so anxious about the morning that he just couldn’t relax so he was up until about 10 (which is late for him).
Then the next morning he woke up at 6:30 crying because he didn’t want to go to school. I knew the morning would be difficult, but I had no idea how much it was going to affect me. I’ll be honest, this same thing happened last year, too, but it is not fresh in my memory so I am not handling it well.
As soon as we got in the car, he started crying. He didn’t want to get out of the car. I had to carry him in and when we got into the building he latched onto me and wouldn’t let go. They had to carry him in and pry him off of me.
Do you have any idea how sad that made me? To know he was going into the day having such a hard time? It breaks my heart that he is so emotional and sensitive.
After I got back in the car, I just had to sit for a few minutes and take deep breaths to avoid having a meltdown myself.
When I got home, I was paralyzed with anxiety.
I had a list of things that I had to do and I couldn’t do any of them.
All I could think of was how upset my boy must have been.
But truly, what option did I have? I couldn’t have taken him home. And he can’t not go to school. He just has to adjust.
When I picked him up from school he cried as soon as he saw me.
His teachers said he did fine – that as soon as he was in the classroom he calmed down and stopped crying… but honestly, that doesn’t make it easier on me.
I know that tomorrow he is going to do the same thing. And I know how much that’s going to hurt my heart.
But I also know that I have to send him to school. And that I have to go to work. And that sometimes we are going to have to be separated as much as he doesn’t want us to be.
I’m not sure anyone other than a mom who has gone through something similar can empathize with me. My husband thinks I am being dramatic because he doesn’t understand how much it hurts me to see my baby cry the way he did this morning.
Now tomorrow is my daughter’s first day of school. She takes the bus – and of course the bus is coming at the same time that my son has the arrive at school. So I can only be with one of them at drop off tomorrow morning. I know that my son needs me more so I have to drop him off, and that means I will miss her getting on the bus for her first day. And that truly sucks. I hate feeling like I can’t give my daughter everything she needs because my son is SO needy.
I know it will get better. We will adjust. We’ll get into a routine. But right now, I am struggling. This is tough. I hate seeing my kids have big emotions and struggle.
It’s a difficult time of year for parents. But it’s nice to be reminded that we’re not alone.