When my son turn 3 he started going to an early intervention preschool that had a bus pick him up at the house. Putting him onto that bus alone for the first time was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do as a mom. He wasn’t old enough to understand that he was coming back just a few hours later. The panic in his eyes and the tears running down his face killed me. He tried to hold onto my as tight as possible so this strange lady wouldn’t take him away. In his eyes, he didn’t realize he would be coming back. To make matters worse, he was accidentally taken to the wrong school, but thankfully that meant a quick trip back home. Subsequent bus rides were not as traumatic. We both came to love his bus drivers and he happily went to school once adjusted.
Looking back at old photos, I love seeing him in his Thomas the Train shoes and t-shirt plus his froggy back pack and head full of curls. His face was so much rounder then….he looked so little. He was an only child then and was being picked up in the middle of the day so he was showered with attention.
Fast forward two years and he has started kindergarten. For his teacher meet and greet, he has a big boy haircut, a dress shirt, and shoes without characters. He his longer and leaner, his face no longer as round. My husband and I take him to meet his teacher, whom I am already in love with, and future classmates. I am grateful that he makes a fast friend and I hope their relationship grows as the year progresses.
No longer an only child, his sister is dressed up for his big day and happily escorts him to the bus stop. The neighborhood kids are now on the same schedule and he gets to wait at the bus stop with the big kids who have done such a wonderful job taking care of him since we moved here. Unfortunately we missed the bus on the very first day and had to drive in.
All in all, it was going surprisingly well. He said he couldn’t sleep the night before because he was so excited for kindergarten. He happily posed for pictures and held his sister’s hand as we walked toward the school. However, once the teacher tried to bring him into school, the tears started. “But I’m shy.” was being screamed as we were separated…bringing me back to the preschool bus debacle two years prior. This time I clutched my daughter, kissing her as I cried and walked away. Thankfully his new friend’s mom was nearby to do some consoling.
A few hours later, one of his teachers called to say that there was a tough time transitioning but he did great once he settled down. I was anxious to hear how his first day went once he came home. His sister and I anxiously waited his arrival. He bounced off the bus with a smile on his face. They gave him a bracelet to help him calm down and he wore it proudly. A big milestone was survived. It was official…he loved kindergarten. Phew!
For now I am just trying to take it all in. I know it is just kindergarten but I feel like this is where it all speeds up. Like in no time he is going to be packing up for college. The first five years were wonderful. I love being his mom and watching him grow but things are going to change. We are no longer on our schedule…we are on the school’s schedule. We can’t pick up and go somewhere whenever we want. There are now responsibilities and very specific times to be places. There are no more leisurely mornings where he can watch Curious George and slowly eat his breakfast. The pace has quickened and things are now rushed. My goal will be to slow it down and enjoy whenever possible because I know life will be more hectic now.
Good luck to my little buddy. You are going to rock kindergarten.
To all of you experienced parents out there…any tips on this transition to a whole new world?