The baby becomes a boy
I told everyone I was going to be just fine; I wasn’t going to cry.
But as we walked into the Brewton Elementary kindergarten building on Monday morning with our 5-year-old, I was overwhelmed by a memory: the hallway where our son will spend his first year of school smells just like my own elementary school. I guess it’s a mix of wood floors and the ghosts of kindergartens past.
That first day really was just fine; we parents sat in tiny chairs and learned about our children’s schedule and lunch money and reading assignments for about an hour while the students watched a cartoon.
But even after years of daycare and pre-school, nothing quite prepares a parent for kindergarten. It was the second day of school that got me. How did my sweet baby become a little boy — fighting tears himself — as he stood in a classroom with his backpack and Ninja Turtle lunchbox?
So, yes, I cried. I cried all the way back to the car, and I cried when I got to work and was asked how it went.
It helps, of course, that we trust our school and its leadership and that our son has such a kind teacher. We are shaped, so much, by those early years; I remember learning to read in kindergarten — and by second grade I loved to write, and I haven’t stopped.
I can’t wait to see what ideas and dreams bloom in my son’s mind during these first years of school. But, oh, how I still wish I could stop time, just for a bit.