Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pass Me a Tissue -- Robin

I really had no idea this whole thing was going to turn me into a blubbering mess. Today was the first day that…wait!…have to blow my nose…my son went to kindergarten.


Okay. It’s not such a huge deal. Just a different school with different teachers, right? Well, that’s exactly what I’d been thinking the past few months. Whenever someone would ask me if I was nervous/excited/sad/freaked-out that my son was going into kindergarten, I was like, “It’s really no big deal for us. He’s happy to be going and we’re happy that it’s free and we don’t have to pay for preschool so now I can go get my nails done.”

But then last Friday rolled around. The day we went to go buy school clothes. My boy ran around the store buried beneath mounds of new clothes (because he wouldn’t let me hold any of them) and he went up to every person who would listen to him and yelled, “I’m getting new clothes! I’m going to kindergarten!” On the way home in the car, he sat in the back seat hugging his enormous bag of clothes, then looked wistfully out the window and softly said, “I’m so happy.”

Fine. Very cute. I can handle cute.

But then yesterday rolled around. The day before kindergarten. The day that everything changed.

You know how pregnant women start doing that weird nesting behavior when they can sense that their baby is about to be born? (Yes, I mopped my floors at 4 a.m. the day my boy was born.) Well, my boy was now doing kindergarten nesting behaviors! He cleaned his room. He laid out all of his clothes (shoes and underwear, too!). Then he told me he was going to brush his teeth and floss all by himself since he was in kindergarten now. He wouldn’t even let me peek into the bathroom! I’m pretty sure he’ll have a full beard and a deep voice by the end of the week. My boy was becoming very independent all of a sudden.

Fine. Independence. I can handle independence.

And then, today. The first day of kindergarten. For the first time ever, he got out of bed and put his clothes on…including his shoes and underwear (in the correct order, I’m hoping). No help from me.

He asked for a big breakfast, watched one episode of The Pink Panther, then put on his adorable backpack and snuck into the bathroom to look at himself in the mirror.

Finally, he walked up to me, gave me a hug, and politely asked, “Where am I going today?”

He had a sly little look on his face. He knew exactly where he was going. He just wanted to hear me say it…again. “You’re going to kindergarten, honey.”

And he did that thing that grown-ups do when their favorite team wins a big game or when their credit card isn’t denied…he pulled in his fist and said, “Yes!

And I was done. Tears were flowing.

My cute, independent little boy was suddenly a big, grown-up boy.

And now I’m a big, grown-up mess. Pass me a tissue!!

Luke showing off his new clothes to one of his teachers
while his mother stands off to the side, sobbing.

- Robin


Natalie said...

Aw, Robin. Sniff. My daughter starts Kindergarten September 10, so I'm right there with ya. Try and bask in the fact that he's so excited and happy (note: nail salons are very basking-inducive)...it's a million times worse when they cling to your leg wailing: "Don't leave me!" (As a former Kindergarten teacher, I can attest to the fact that this does happen!) So get your manicured nails to the keyboard and get crackin'! ;-)

SilberBook-Blog said...

Okay - maybe I'm a tad wet behind my left eye cuz I haven't slept much and been rewriting since dawn...or maybe it's because I remember my son coming into our bedroom all dressed and eager for his first day that year...

Growth is good. Independence...a tiny bit at a time please. Thanks for the memory blast, Robin! And hold on tight!


Kelly Fineman said...

I remember when my older daughter went. She wanted me there (at daycare) to watch her get on the bus. I expected a good-bye hug, etc.

The bus pulled up and she took off running. And never looked back. I am so with you on the boo-hoo train.

Colorado Writer said...

Wah! He looks all grown up!Ah...sweet times.

Leslie Muir said...

I'm having blubber-recall. My eldest trotted off to Kindergarten last year and it was heart-wrenching and wonderful, all at the same time.

Sniffly hugs, Robin! I totally relate.

Anonymous said...

ahhhh, that made me tear up too! we have one more year of preschool before kindergarten..wow. they grow up so fast. he is totally adorable and sounds so sweet so you must be such a good mommy. =)

in other news: more time for you to write!


cynjay said...

Awwww. Now that we're in second and fifth grades, I barely get a wave as they disappear into the school.

Be glad he is so eager to go - it means you're doing something right.

daphne grab said...

my two are off to preschool on the 10th and the whole summer we've all been excited about it and now, all of a sudden, in the last few days, i've noticed that it's only the two of them and my husband who are excited and i'm thinking "wait, you'll be away from me for over four hours every day- whose idea was this?!" now i'm dreading the day! but at least they're too young to be embarrassed when i start bawling...

Becky Levine said...

Okay, I admit it, I'm jealous. My son has never wanted to start any new school or program--life's fine as it is, change is bad. (I can hear my mom now--"Gee, I wonder where he got THAT?!")

The 1st day of kindergarten was okay, because he didn't really get what was happening. For a while after that, it was either sneak out or go while the teacher hung on to him. The "special" day where he got to stay an extra hour with just a few kids and have lunch with the teacher was "Just time waiting for you to bring me home, Mom!"

This year, he started middle school. I got smart--Dad took him to the bus!

What the heck will college be like?

lizzy_lyn said...

Aww. My son began kindergarten last week, as well. He walked off with his classmates without looking back. And my 3-year-old starts preschool tomorrow, with his Little Einsteins backpack.

robin said...

I'm another Robin (even spelled the same), and my son also started Kindergarten this year. Last week. I was okay until the second day when I walked him to the bus stop and watched his excited grin as he rode off -- he waved until I couldn't see him too.

but he LOVES it! And I've discovered that three and a half hours isn't that long, either...plus, my daughter is still home with me (until next week, when she starts pre-K for the first time -- and she might be one of those who's clinging to my leg and wailing).

Danette said...

That is just too cute! I remember those blubbering days. My daughter inside crying, me, sitting on the curb outside the school crying ...

Those were the days.


Debby G. said...

I'm sobbing too! Because your story was so moving, but also because I still have another week until my kids get out of my hair-- I mean, go to school.

Disco Mermaids said...

For some reason it makes me feel better to know that other people have kindergartener-separation anxiety disorder, too! Or, at least, that they had it in the past, or will have it in the near future.

Even though Jay and Eve don't have kids, they are understanding of my pain and have been great about letting me cry on them. Thanks, guys!


Anonymous said...

O.k., I might be the worst mom ever, BUT, Dude, you have more free time, you'll be more excited when you see him and he'll have really cool stories to tell about his day. How great is that? BTW, we had a "first" today, too. J.B. "got in trouble" for whistling while he was supposed to be listening to be doing something else, like listening or something! He was devastated that he "pulled a yellow card" - whatever that means. I, on the other hand, keep tormenting him by telling him to just whistle while he works. . .

Anonymous said...

Ooops, I left an extra phrase in my last post. I need an editor!

Mac McCool said...

They still grow too fast, years past kindergarten... :-(

cynthea said...


Sarah Darer Littman said...

I can relate...except that my "baby" just started middle school. She did the same thing with the clothes - she and a friend had their matching outfits (totally retro Madonna complete with leggings, OMG...) picked out three weeks before school started. I was allowed to walk her to the middle school but not to kiss her or basically show any other sign of relatedness once we got within a 300 yard radius of the building.

And I embarrassed the heck out of her by waving and saying "Hi" in an enthusiastic voice to some of her friends I hadn't seen all summer. (imagine! Saying hi! How mortifying!@!!)

The funny thing is, a friend of hers saw me and came over and gave me a hug. I guess I'm still cool to her friends, but a complete embarrassment to her. *sigh*

Anyway go treat yourself to a spa pedicure as well as the manicure.

And think of me next week when baby number 1 starts ...(gulp) HIGH SCHOOL! (when did I get this OLD?!)

MotherReader said...

Oh, I hear you sister. My kids are going to 3rd and 6th grade open house today - school starts on Tuesday - and I've been so sad today. I love being with the girls all summer, and every time I send them back to school they are just a little bit older. Sigh.

I will tell you the good news. In a couple of weeks you'll be meeting friends for coffee or lunch and won't spend one second wondering if anyone needs to use the potty.

Don Tate II said...

Funny, my son's school started yesterday. I didn't cry. I was delighted.

Anonymous said...

Robin writes: On the way home in the car, he sat in the back seat hugging his enormous bag of clothes, then looked wistfully out the window and softly said, “I’m so happy.”

Okay, could that be any more adorable?!
Hurry fertility fairy, hurry! I'm over here!
Wait, what do you mean I'm too old?