Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Her First Day.

In all my life, I never imagined the first day of pre-school to go like this.  I imagined myself crying as my first (and only) baby put on her big-girl clothes and went off to her first day of school.  I figured she'd cling to my leg, and that I'd cry all the way home.  It was nothing like that.

I woke to the sound of thunder and noticed, though it wasn't visible through the clouds, the sun had come up.  I rolled over and looked at the clock.  It was 10:30 AM.  Good thing we didn't have morning class!  I went into the living room and saw Chloe curled up on the couch watching the credits of Tinkerbelle (somehow when it storms at night ANYWHERE but her own bed calms her nerves).  "Is it morning?" she asked sleepily.  "Yeah," I said.  She smiled.  She knew it was her first day.

We got our lazy butts around and got ready, and headed off to school.  It was pouring rain, and we had all the first day supplies to lug with us. She was all smiles, though.
We went to the school and waited in the foyer for the teacher to come get the kiddos.  Chloe was very quiet and shy around the other kids and parents, but I knew she was bubbling on the inside.  When the teacher came, the children lined up, and the parents all followed with their yellow Dollar General sacks in tow.  Several parents crowded the doorway; some went into the room and led their children to the cubbies.  I stood back, as is my nature, and watched Chloe wiggle her way through the crowd.  She stood at the table where her teacher was trying to get everyone organized, and followed the directions to put her bag away and get a puzzle.  I felt bad not having said goodbye.  I scooted into the doorway and watched her grab a colorful balloon puzzle.  She looked up and winked at me.  I smiled and she said, "Bye, Mom!  See ya after school!"  I stepped to the table, kissed her cheek, and told her bye.  I squeezed past a bawling grandma and a picture-snapping mom.  I wondered if it was bad that I wasn't upset or hurt that she was going to school.  I started to feel guilty, but realized that I am happy for her.  I do miss her being a baby sometimes, but for the most part I enjoy watching her gain her independence and grow into a little girl who will all too soon grow into an adult.  I'm excited for her to meet new friends and start the journey of school.  I don't think badly of any of the mothers who let their babies go in tears, but I feel good about the relationship Chloe and I have, and I am proud to be encouraging her forward rather than trying to hold on to her baby days.

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