Quite a big day for us today, with my oldest starting kindergarten this morning. I wasn’t sure how I would handle it: the school dropoff, the waving goodbye, the part where I watch my baby growing up in front of my eyes. I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings about this transition in the past week, going from being very excited for him to worried I’d start crying as I left him at school. How scary would it be for him? What kind of place is Mama leaving me that makes her so sad? Get me out of here, now!
His little brother doesn’t go back to preschool until next week so I knew I’d have to hold myself together or face a lot of questions from him too. I also knew I’d have to keep a tight eye on the clock and our schedule or we’d face the chance to be late for our first day of school.
So I was extremely proud of myself when we got in the car at 8:15am, with school starting at 8:55. My son is in a French immersion program in a magnet school and the ride takes 15 to 20 minutes. Except, it didn’t today.
Somehow, the weather decided to turn nasty yesterday and we got our first rain since probably last April or May. Going to bed last night, I thought I’d seen the end of it, but this morning we woke up with dark grey clouds shedding tears on our windows. Still, I had 45 minutes to get to school, right?
Well, it took every single of these 45 minutes to reach our destination. As always, San Diego drivers forgot how to drive in the rain (that means keeping a safe distance, people!), and the freeways were a complete mess. I got off the
parking lot freeway when I could and decided to take the side streets. Apparently, so did everybody else. I’d been worried about the lack of parking in front of the school. No worry there because all the other cars had already left when we pulled into our parking spot, right as the school bell rang.
We sprung out of the car, making our way through the outside eating area and the playground blacktop, and finally reached our class. That’s when I realized everybody else was late with us. Phew! So I helped my son get to his desk and start drawing while the teacher welcomed her students. His brother sat down next to him for a minute and gently rubbed the top of his head. Aw… But wait, no tears. A few minutes later, we took off. I kissed and hugged my son goodbye. I took a last look at him through the classroom windows as we were leaving. He was concentrating on his drawing and never looked up. Fine, be like that… No tears still.
I then got his brother back into the car and we headed for Balboa Park to take advantage of Free Tuesdays at the Natural History Museum. We got stuck into even more horrendous traffic for another 40 minutes. By the time we got to the museum, I realized I never got the tears I expected in my eyes and didn’t feel like sobbing. As a parent, it looks like I’ve done some growing up too. My little guy is getting bigger, and I’m cool with it. At least for today.
Do you remember when your children started kindergarten? If your kids are too little, do you think you’ll have a hard time with this life transition when the time comes?
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