Health

The bittersweet happiness of the first day of school

What kind of week would it be if I didn’t write about the emotional school firsts? And like many other parents out there, this week I’m experiencing a first (again) — sending my youngest child off to kindergarten.

First day of school

Masterfile

What kind of week would it be if I didn’t write about the emotional school firsts? And like many other parents out there, this week I’m experiencing a first (again) — sending my youngest child off to kindergarten.

It’s a wonderful, happy, tear-filled time in a mother’s life. We smile as we prepare our kids for experiencing school. Here at home, I’ve been telling my son what it’s going to be like in his multi-sectioned classroom, one filled with the kind of places where fun is ready to happen: sand play, painting, a craft centre stocked with recyclables begging to be cut/glued/coloured into robots and doll houses. I’m doing my best to keep that grin front and centre as I talk with him about concepts such as circle time, snack time, the alphabet and counting.

And as is tradition with his big sister, we set out on a shopping trip for the first-day outfit. He excitedly and carefully selected a Star Wars Lego shirt, a pair of striped shorts (after the pockets were closely examined — I need good pockets mommy), a skull-and-crossbones-adorned backpack (trust me, I tried to talk him out of that one) and new socks to complete the look.

I’m so excited for him to start this new chapter in his life, one that could fork off in so many directions. But as happy as my heart is, it’s also breaking a bit. This “first” of starting kindergarten closes the door on those little-kid years, the ones that fast-forward so quickly. Weren’t we just carefully buckling him into an infant bucket seat and driving home (so very slowly) from the hospital? How did we arrive at the day where we’re filling a water bottle and asking what kind of fruit he wants to bring for snack time?

And while there are going to be tears, I’m desperately trying to hide behind my smile this week. I’m happy for my boy — he’s so excited to finally be that big boy he’s been trying to be for so long now, to be part of the school he’s long watched his big sister go to every morning. And so for his sake, I just have to make sure the tears don’t start to slide down my face until the kindergarten door closes.

Was it hard to send your kid/s off to school this week?


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