The Last Day
Today was my 10 year old’s last day of elementary. His very last day. Wasn’t it just a few minutes ago I dropped him off for the first day of kindergarten? No, I guess not.
I just came home from the school’s celebration assembly. He performed a music piece with some other children, he received a certificate of completion from his awesome teacher and he even won a school pride draw prize. It was a good start to a fun-filled day for him. I didn’t cry at all, but I am now as I sit here putting my thoughts together about it all. He’s growing up and I’m proud and excited for him and nostalgic and sad for me. I love the age he was at this year. He was helpful and responsible (well, a lot of the time, lol). He got so tall and he’s almost wearing my shoe size now. I’m seeing him stop being a little boy, that’s for sure.
Well, for now I’m going to try to just enjoy the summer, enjoy time with my wonderful family and not worry about that middle school thing. It’s too scary for the last day of school, August is early enough to panic. So I’ll leave you with this post from way back when I blogged under my VAMomto3Boys blog (thank goodness for having grabbed those archives!). I have all my old stuff under one big crazy long post on this blog, so I’m cutting and pasting the post I did about when the big kid started kindergarten five long years ago. Tears then. Tears now. Some things don’t change much!
The First Time on the School Bus
**I’ve written this as an exercise related to the Momoir Project
First times are hard for me to remember to be honest. I have almost no memory of the first time I held my first baby. Actually, I only “remember” seeing a picture and thinking, “really, did I hold him in recovery?” I had a c-section thanks to a stubbornly breech baby, hospital protocol at the time and poor planning on my part (aka, assuming naively I would not have a breech baby, nor would I need to consider options other than the attempted external version).
I couldn’t really tell you much about the first times any of my babies smiled or even slept through the night. A lot of early motherhood moments seem to blend together in a blurry haze of exhaustion and wonder. As my beautiful boys get older, things seem to finally be coming into focus though. Each boy is so much more distinct now, their personalities were always so individual even as babies, but their needs were exactly the same. More milk mommy. Change my diaper. Carry me. EVERYWHERE. Blah, blah, blah.
My oldest is going into grade two soon and my middle is going to kindergarten. And, at least right now, I can remember the very first time I put my oldest onto the bus to go to kindergarten, two years ago, as clear as anything. I think it’s partially so clear because it was brutally traumatic for me. It was hard for him, but I’m quite certain the memory has faded much more quickly for him than it will for me.
Kindergarten started with a whimper. A whimper of pain thanks to a high fever and a throat infection. I fed the poor darling some Tylenol and proceeded to try and drag him to school anyway because after all daddy and I had already taken the day off. It was “the first day” and he was going no matter what. We made it all the way to the school before I truly looked at his pale face and his fever-glazed eyes and realized that of course he was not going to school. Home we went and to the doctor for some antibiotics.
As a result of staggered entry and 2-day per week kindergarten, the first day of school was put off until the next week. Unfortunately, as a working mom, my son would be going to kindergarten from daycare. He would get on a big yellow school bus, be dropped off at a large transfer station and make his way to bus number 213, which was then expected to deliver him safely to his school. His failed first day was meant to be the day I drove him to school and the 2nd and 3rd days of school I had also taken off of work to help him get used to taking the school bus. I delivered both him and his younger brother to daycare as usual, but waited at the daycare until the bus arrived. My body was swollen with my third child, I was tired and anxious about the new experience. I wanted nothing more than to quit my job that very day so I would never have to trust my baby to the big scary bus. I had no choice though, my notice was already set in stone for early November just before the baby’s arrival and I had projects to complete. The bus arrived and my biggest boy cried. And cried and cried and cried. And clung to me and asked why he had to take the bus. My heart was breaking and I knew I had to put him on that bus anyway.
I met him at the school 25 minutes later. Twenty-five very long minutes. He was still crying when he got off the bus at school. I walked him into his new class to meet Ms D, his wonderful teacher. He seemed better with me there, but despite plenty of experience being left for the day at daycare and a great deal of attempted preparation for kindergarten, he totally panicked when I had to leave that morning. He cried again and I fought my own tears. Being pregnant was definitely not helping me keep my emotions in check but I knew it would not help him to see my sorrow. His teacher peeled him off of me and I left to meet my mom and sister for a spa day. It was supposed to be a treat since I had the day off anyway. I cried through the whole appointment and then through lunch. I’m sobbing even now remembering that day. Letting your baby go for the first time is one of the hardest things you can do.Featured Image (ignore the terrible quality!) © Laurie Mapp, Laurie Runs Life, 2012