Monday, August 27, 2012

The Joy of the First Day of School

I was that kid.

You know the one who had her clothes laid out neatly the night before with matching shoes, socks, and hair barrette.

The one who always made sure all of the number two pencils were sharpened and that a good breakfast was had before heading out for the big day.

Meeting my teachers, touching my text books, finding my desk, and diving into the task at hand was glorious. 

You never had to remind me to do my homework.  I wouldn't let myself go outside and 'play' until every last bit of it was done. 

I nagged my mom to leave our friends' houses early on nights before tests and took academics seriously, always.

And so, this morning over a hot breakfast, my second grader and kindergartner prepared for their first days of school.  Sam (7) said, "Mama, how did you feel when you were a little kid on your first day?" To which I replied, "So, so, so excited!" And he said, "I feel a little sick in my stomach.  I guess I'm nervous."

Insanely focused on making sure that we had enough time to take pictures at home and at school, I didn't pay much attention to his concern.  But my husband did.  He patiently talked to him about how normal it is to feel a little anxious about the unknown and that sooner rather than later, he would have everything down pat.

I sat back and watched.  These are the first steps.  The first moments of asserting independence and of letting go.  These are the times for reassurance, but also for saying, it's okay, you can do it.  These are the memories that we'll reflect back on and think, they're not so little anymore.  They're finding their way in the world without us.

I'll leave in an hour to pick him up and with a semi-progress report in hand (my husband volunteered to help serve lunch today) feel somewhat assured that all went well.  But even knowing that, I recognize that it's okay to be nervous, anxious, worried.  The most important part is stepping out in faith, even when you are apprehensive...for both children and parents...especially, this mama.

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