I feel like I need to make myself a t-shirt: “I survived Kindergarten Orientation…and I didn’t cry (in public)”
(I might need another one on the first day of school…that one will need to say “Please hug me.")
Yes, orientation went very, very well this past week. My little girl was excited from the moment she woke up, and we chatted happily all morning about what she’d get to do that day. She spoke with other kids, toured her classroom and tried out the playground (and shocked me when she called out “Hey Mom!” and went across the monkey bars BY HERSELF). The kindergartners then went on a bus ride with the teachers, leaving us parents behind to watch through the lobby windows, wonder how in the world the last 5 years went by so quickly, and tear up a bit without completely losing it in front of everyone else. (Hey, I KNOW I wasn’t the only one who was working hard to keep it together…I verified that feeling by asking the mom next to me. She confirmed.)
Don't get me wrong - I love that Danae is excited and ready for school. She might be a little worried the first morning, but I know she will do well and love it. The problem in all of this is me...my inability to "let go"...my distrust of complete strangers knowing how my daughter works and how to take care of her the way I do...my anxiety of Danae facing the "not-so-pleasant" moments with other nasty children.
I think it's also that I see my daughter getting on that bus and going to school as another milestone of her growing up and leaving babyhood behind. Not to be so pessimistic, but let's face it: when our kids go to school, they hear words they've never heard before, stories they should probably never hear, and bring that stuff home. Our job as parents - teaching our babes right from wrong and guiding them in the right direction - becomes increasingly difficult as they grow up. The challenge is here! :o)
So, for the next 9 days, I plan on hugging my girl, playing lots, and continually reminding her of who she is and how to be a loving friend. Then, I'll give her a big hug, put her on the school bus for the first time, and just pray that she's safe and she remembers how to love as Jesus loves. That's pretty much all that we can do as parents...that and go home and have a good cry over a cup of coffee. ;o)