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.