Crying a lot has always come quite easy to me--it's sort of a family trait on my dad's side. So last night when I was trying to go to sleep I wasn't surprised when the first tear fell. For I knew that this morning my youngest would be walking into his new kindergarten classroom.
Almost exactly two years ago I penned my first blog entry. It was prompted by my daughter's first day of school and the emotions and events of that day. It sure seems appropriate (and rather therapeutic) to write this now.
I value crying. It is good for us. Our bodies, minds, and spirits need us to shed tears. I think Jim Valvano said it better than I . . .
If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.
Boy, Jim, you got that right.
We walked my son in this morning--my husband, his big second-grade sister, and me. My eyes burned all morning, but I fought back the family tradition of letting the floodgates open, at least so much as others could see. I wanted to be strong, especially in front of my son, who had already mentioned (approximately 3,647 times) this summer that he preferred not to go to kindergarten, but if he had to go to school he'd feel much better being in his sister's class so they could be together.
All summer I had been concerned about my little hesitant school boy. Of course I have passed along the extra crying gene, so he shed many tiny tears in anticipation of today. We rehearsed all summer the classic lines of how school was great, he'd do just fine--all the typical positive reinforcement a family can give.
I completely understand my son's cautious feelings. My pre-kindergarten fears wore well into school. In fact, I recall crying well into first grade most days after my mom dropped me off.
I am pleased to say that when we took him in the well-decorated, kid-friendly classroom, he was brave and happy and smiling that wonderful pleased-with-himself grin. After his teacher showed him around the room he was still just fine. And when his loving entourage left, he paused, asked me for "just one more hug" and went back to his bug puzzle.
But lucky for me, I had left his extra school supply bag in my car, so I HAD to return to his classroom to give it to his sweet teacher. Of course, he still looked happy and was really having a ball, and barely noticing me.
So he's been at school about two hours now. And although I'd win an award at next year's family reunion for my wet, red eyes, I am so proud to know my little guy was able to break the tradition--at least for today.