First Day Blues

“Now hold my hand…” Thalia beckoned as we walked out the door to meet her new teacher and new classmates on Wednesday. “You have to hold my hand. That’s what you do.”

“Well okay!” I said, proud to entwine my fingers in hers all while wondering how long it would be before she swatted me away in embarrassment.

The answer? Six steps.

Just outside our front door, we ran into a new classmate of hers and Thalia broke away from me to hold her hand on the walk instead.

The perfect metaphor for four – not a little girl, not yet a kindergartener.

Today begins her very first full OMG I have to pack lunches God help us full day at school. Or as Nate calls it, “sending our daughter away for someone else to raise her.” (Um…) Don’t let his gruff, cynical exterior fool you, the guy’s a softie through and through.

Thalia’s changed so enormously since last year’s first day of school, that when I look at that picture I can hardly believe it. But ironically, I haven’t changed a bit.

“I’m sorry, I forgot the photo for her cubby,” I told her teacher as we hung up Thalia’s big girl backpack. “And the allergy form. And the medical form.”

“Oh, it’s okay,” she said kindly. “Just bring it tomorrow.”

“We’ll, I’ll try. But I’m warning you now – I’m That Mom, the one you’ll have to remind six times.”

She laughed. Bless her.

I needed the laugh. Because when I turned to say goodbye to Thalia, she was already gone.


29 thoughts on “First Day Blues”

  1. Isn't it heartbreaking? My son didn't even want me to walk him in on his first day of pre-school. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

    I do know that I am 100% relieved that we're only on a half day program so I don't have to do lunches…yet!

  2. Sending lots of hugs. We're um, experiencing the opposite (envision Laurel's cat claws hanging on for dear life at drop off) but either way, it's tough on the parents. xoxo Christine

  3. I have experienced this with my 14 month old son. He gets to his day-care in the morning and gets very excited when he sees the young woman who greets us at the door every day. My husband jokes that he has four mommies. Me and the three ladies in his group at his day care. Sometimes I don't laugh.

    When he walks away babbling, holding her hand, and not even waving goodbye to me at the door, it makes my heart hurt. I haven't cried yet, I wait until I am at work to have my moment to wallow in sadness before getting to my tasks.

  4. My daughter just turned four over the weekend, and this morning was the first time I was shrugged off from the morning hug. “I'm four now, Mom.” She said.

    I must've looked distressed, because she turned away and then turned back with a kiss to my cheek. “See you soon,” she whispered. Whew! I didn't realize how much I needed that.

    I'm always so torn between wanting my children to be independent and needing them to still need me, even just a little bit. There's nothing like the feel of that small hand in yours.

    – Julia at Midwest Moms

  5. Wow, I can't believe how big she has gotten! (And how much she looks like you!) It will all be okay.

  6. Oh she looks so big.

    Mine didn't even turn back to look at me on the first day. I will admit, I'm okay with that. I'd rather that than the crier. You know, the one kid who cries until Christmas?

    DUDE!!!! Congrats on the trip. That is so freaking awesome.

  7. In case we forget, these little occasions remind us that they are just guests in our lives. (Rather messy ones, but nonetheless, guests…)

  8. What a cutie!

    I have trouble remembering stuff too. Right now I use the pregnant thing as an excuse but can't do that for much longer…

  9. She is just gorgeous.

    I loved that she was so brave. My daughter was the same, my youngest son was another story, he was the kid who cried until Christmas!!

  10. Just remember as sad as it is momma-you are doing what you are suppose to if she loves it and feels good enough to go without you.

  11. Such a beautiful girl!

    Last year when my son started Kindergarten, I was the first parent out of the room. He was beyond fine. I cried in the car on the way back home!

  12. It never gets any easier. I have four sons and I remember each time thinking 'God, I'll just be glad to have the day back for myself.' It turns out I didn't need the day back for myself. I don't have much to do with my time other than being their mom.

    Then there's the first day of grade one, when they feel more gone to you than you think they ever could. When they have little plastic containers with a lunch you made and you think 'They're not going to know what to eat first – how will they know what to eat without me standing there with a diagram?'

    Now I have two sons in high school. They have football practice every day after school and go for runs when they come home and have friends who are apparently named 'You-wouldn't-know-them-mom'. Enjoy four. It's precious and wonderful and perfect.

  13. I had trouble with my daughter going to 1st grade…. I was ok with Kindergarten because she only went every OTHER day. I could handle that. This every day business and riding a SCHOOL BUS, ugh, that freaks me OUT! I hope this gets easier!

  14. I am soooo glad you said this… Because I feel this way too. It's hard to remember EVERYTHING! I feel like a bad mom sometimes because I forget stuff. Like one day last week I forgot to send my daughter with a snack for snack time. 🙁 Baaaaaad mommy!

    “I'm sorry, I forgot the photo for her cubby,” I told her teacher as we hung up Thalia's big girl backpack. “And the allergy form. And the medical form.”

    “Oh, it's okay,” she said kindly. “Just bring it tomorrow.”

    “We'll, I'll try. But I'm warning you now – I'm That Mom, the one you'll have to remind six times.”

  15. I am not only the mother of a four-year-old in her last year of preschool, I am also the teacher welcoming students into their classroom for the first time. I've seen enough first-day drop offs (and second day, etc.) to firmly believe the adage that it's way worse for the parents. Good for Thalia and yeay to you.

    And it IS always appreciated when we know first thing which Mom is going to need the six reminders! 🙂

  16. Oh it is so bittersweet, isn't it? My oldest son just started kindergarten last week, and it I cried my head off, seriosly cried, as he walked in to the school, holding his teacher's hand, with his backpack on his little back. He's only in school half-days, and I'm glad for that, as it is his first time away from us – while I'm at work, he is looked after by family members, so it was a huge deal for me! Every time I take him to school in the morning, I want to cry. But he loves it. And I am SO thankful for that, because he is terribly shy and I never thought he'd go through with going to school!
    Anyway – that is a beautiful picutre of your little girl!
    Also? Any tips on getting my son to tell me about his day? I mean, more than: “It was good.” 😉

  17. With the blink of an eye…they grow up so quickly! These are the memorable moments we cherish (and weep about)!

    Heather for Children’s Aid NYC

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