Christopher started Kindergarten and I was fully expecting tears. My tears, not his tears. But, my independent, scared-of-nothing, little guy got a little scared. And he melted into a puddle of sobs after I left him in the classroom on his first day.
I've seen mothers ripped away from their kids' death grip outside the school every morning. It's horrifying to watch a sobbing child being dragged away from his mother. I was always so thankful that I never had to experience the horror of walking away as your child is crying, "please mommy, don't leave me!" Until now.
Lucky for me, there is no death grip. There is no dragging. Christopher walks up to his classroom with no problems. But, once inside the classroom, the tears begin and his little voice tries to spit out, "but I will miss you mommy" amid gasps and sobs. Can't I just take him home and forget about this whole Kindergarten thing? I miss him, too.
On a deeply disturbing level I'm glad he misses me. I've raised two boys that, thus far, have had zero problems when I'm not around. Neither one has batted an eye when I've gone out of town, dropped them off at Grandma's or left them at a play date. Christopher never shed a tear when I walked out of his preschool classroom. I'm a little bit happy that Christopher is sad that we're not together every day anymore. Is that so wrong?
He can miss me and he can be sad, but he can't cry and tug at my heart strings when I leave him at school. He has to get used to the fact that he now has a job and that job is going to school. I think once the routine sets in everything will be OK. For now, we are still adjusting.
We read The Kissing Hand last night in an attempt to bypass the tears at school this morning. We discussed how it's OK to feel sad and it's OK to miss mommy but he has to go into his classroom and let me go home or I won't be able to walk him to his classroom at all. I kissed his hand so he knows he can touch his cheek and feel my kisses throughout the day.
When we got to the classroom door this morning his lip was quivering a little bit. I told him that I loved him and that I was proud of him for doing such a great job this morning. I said goodbye and he went inside. As I walked away I heard his little voice yell, "mommy" and I turned around. He came out in the hall and asked if he could have one more hug. "Of course," I said. I squeezed him tight, told him that I loved him again, and asked him if he would kiss my hand, too. I figured I could use a few of his kisses throughout the day also.
Christopher didn't cry today. As we hugged goodbye we both knew that we would miss each other terribly but we would be OK. He went on his way and I went on mine. What Christopher doesn't know is that his separation from me is just beginning. He will be sad today, but he will relish in his independence as he gets older and the tears will become a distant memory. My sadness is just beginning as I realize today and every other day that he is growing up way too fast. My tears might never end.
Life is funny like that.