As I glanced around me, the faces on each individual held expressions that you could only expect on a day like today.
Well, today and MAYBE if the newspapers that morning had run an announcement about impending Armageddon.
Glazed over eyes- some red, some watery, some a little of both- with a painted on expression of calm, (purely for the sake of the kids, of course) but any other parent knows that simmering just below the surface raged fear, terror, sadness, and just the slightest hint of nausea.
Welcome to the first day of school. More importantly, welcome to the first day of kindergarten., where the recruits are pint sized and the basics of survival include writing your name and knowing your colors.
Yes, I'm comparing kindergarten to the military. Even though the little guys (and gals) aren't very imposing -with their baby faces and backpacks half their size- taking a look around the orientation room, you'd think we were sending our babies off to war.
Parents drifted in and out of consciousness, only occasionally showing signs of life, wringing their hands, tapping their feet, and continually checking their watches, trying to pass the time til we would be allowed to rejoin our little kindergarteners back in the classroom.
Suddenly, we were given the “GO” to head back.
Like runners at the start of a race, many parents jumped up with a speed that Flo Jo would have envied.
As I made my way to the door, I heard one mom say,”...she was never in preschool, so she's probably shell-shocked and wondering where I am. I wouldn't be surprised if she's in tears.” I can see her nervously laughing, but her eyes give away a wild kind of look- like a mother lion rushing to get back to her cub before poachers take it away.
The last one to file into the classroom, I almost burst out laughing. None of those kids missed us. They were sitting on their colored carpet squares, listening to 'The Kissing Hand', and playing with their neighbor who was sitting closest to them.
Of course, despite their content children, the nervous, frantic look the parents wore made me wonder whether or not they were going to give themselves 40 lashings for letting their tiny tots out of view.
I know I come off as sarcastic and a little mean (I wouldn't be me if I wasn't), and I get it. Its scary to see your baby grow up- I'm not denying that. I remember being new at the whole “first day” thing. I laugh because it just hit me what I must've looked like.
Of course, that was when my little guppie was entering a puddle.
Today I let e guppie go and watched as my oldest went from puddle to pond- Jr. High.
But, I have to tell you all- I was brave. I wasn't like the rest. I was a pro. No tears here. I took my mandatory “first day of school” pics and waved to him as he headed out the door with his friends.
I only hugged him once...
ok, so it was 3 times.
I was totally and completely in control of my emotions as I asked him over and over if he had everything he needed , and I think I did a pretty good job at hiding fear when I reminded him to call me right after school.
Yup, I kept it cool as a cucumber.
Up until I saw that it was 1, realized that he'd had a half day and was supposed to get out by 12:55, and ended up calling him...
...during his last few minutes of school; frantic, wondering if he had been swallowed up by a larger fish.
FYI- your clocks at home DO NOT necessarily reflect school time.
You know- in case you were wondering.