I really can’t recall my first day of Kindergarten, although I’m assuming everything went just fine since my parents never used that day against me in my later years. I’m sure I had the anxieties all little ones do on their very first day of school. Being the third child (and a very busy one at that) in my family to enter into the public school system I’m almost certain my mother didn’t feel too much sadness as she pried her hand out of mine and left me in the capable hands of the kindergarten teacher.
Each one of my kids handled the first day of school in their own unique way. My first to go to school was her usual self. She was and still is the social butterfly and needed to be noticed on her first day. I remember watching her closely waiting for her tears to start. Oh I knew they would since I was her mother and how could my child stand to be separated from me (when in all reality it was I who could not even think of being separated from my daughter). I remember watching as she let go of my hand and walked directly over to her teacher and extended her hand in a hand shake. She introduced herself, turned to look at me and said, “you can go now mom”. Oh dear, it was starting. The trembling bottom lip, the eyes starting to water and then tears sliding down the cheeks. Yes the tears did start, but NOT from her, but from ME!
My second to go to school was my son. He was the exact opposite of his sister. He was quiet and shy and well he seemed to be attached to my side. The only time you would find him away from me was when he was in his room counting the money in his piggy bank or setting up his colony of ninja turtles to attack his sister’s princess Lego castle. I knew I was going to have problems with him starting school when Kindergarten registration came around. He told me point blank that there was no need to go since he would not be going to school anyway. He said that he had enough money in his piggy bank to pay for him to stay home. He also said that he needed to help me with his baby sister so he wasn’t going to go. Well we were able to get registration over with but the first day of school was certainly memorable. We were not even 2 blocks from the house when HIS tears started. We were crossing the road when all of a sudden he stopped dead in his tracks. The crossing guard stood holding the stop sign up and waiting patiently while I tried to coax him to the other side of the street. He wasn’t going to budge so I literally had to pick him up and carry him across. When we got to the other side he refused to stand on his own. I was left with a life sized Raggedy Andy doll. His crying and refusal to move was really starting to get on the few nerves I had left and so I desperately searched my mind for something that would calm him. I begged him to stop crying and told him that if he stopped and went to school with me that when he got home I would give him a dollar when he got home. He cried even louder so I promised him 2 dollars. Well that seemed to work, but deep in my mind I knew I had created a monster. For the first month of school, it cost me a fortune. Thank goodness he finally found his place in the classroom and I was slowly able to close the bribery bank.
My third and last child was the easiest to ease into the Kindergarten class. She dressed with excitement and there were NO tears. Not from her and not from me. She was thrilled that she was a big girl and would be going to the big kids school. As for me, I was free…I was finally free! I would have the entire morning to myself and ohhhhhhhhhh it was going to be wonderful. I walked her to school and before she even seen the teacher she ran off to play with a friend that she knew from the neighbourhood. I stood there and watched and I actually had a smile on my face. My bank account was secure and I saw my baby was having fun and fitting in perfectly. I grabbed her attention and waved bye, she quickly waved back and went back to playing with her friends. I was just leaving the playground when the bell rang. I turned and watched her line up single file with the rest of the children and disappear into the school.