The Bracelet: Bittersweet Back to School Memory
As my kids get ready to start middle school and third grade, I decided to share a story I wrote a few years back when my little man started kindergarten. Get ready to grab a tissue...
I would have written earlier this week about my kids' first day back to school but I managed to get myself involved in so many projects with my new company, that my musings about daily life weren't that funny this week. In fact, on my son's very first day of kindergarten, he shocked both my husband and I when he was the only kid in the class to start bawling when we both attempted to leave the classroom.
There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your five year old wail when you attempt to drop him off at a new school. All I kept thinking was he's never going to let me leave - I will never be able to go to work again. I'm going to be parked outside of the classroom until the leaves start changing. I don't know what happened that he's gotten so attached to me, but every single morning he asks the same question. "Mommy, are you going to work today?" For the last five years, I've had to tell him, yes, I'm going to work today. But now, I'm the owner of my own business and work is wherever I want it to be. But yet, as my son gets more and more stressed when I tell him I'm heading into Manhattan for a meeting, I'm starting to realize that no matter what I do, I need to be there to take him to school, or be at home when he walks in the door.
I'm not saying I'm packing it in for SAHM status - I am a career woman at heart - but I do want to be there for both of my kids. I even contemplated volunteering to be a class mother and then thought better of it since I pretty much stink in that arena, failing miserably at bake offs, carnivals and plant sales (I bought the plants, just killed them all). What I do know is that when a kid is five, they remember everything. I remember when I accidentally got left at after school when I was his age and I vowed never to do that either of them - no kid gets left behind - except of course when you think they're supposed to be in school for a full day but it's really only a half day, but I digress...
Getting back to kindergarten - while my son held on to my arm for dear life that first day, the little boy next to him broke the ice with some sage advice. He looked straight at my left wrist and said, "Why don't you leave something special with him like your bracelet and then he'll know you have to come back for him?" A very wise thought, except I wasn't about about to slip off my 10th anniversary gift as collatoral just so my son would stop his crying jag. So instead of parting with my tennis bracelet, I fished in my purse and handed him the sherrif's badge we picked out at Rocking Horse ranch last week when he begged me to get him a pair of handcuffs. He still kept crying but eventually, after we gave him the slip, he finally stopped and picked up a marker to draw a picture of himself missing his mommy and daddy.
Thankfully for me, day two was a complete cinch. He marched right in, gave me a kiss and off he went to sit with his new friends. And me - I raced off to catch the 8:48am train, missed my morning coffee, but caught up with my closest gal pals on Metronorth. And then, I raced home early to see how his day went. And thankfully, he had a wonderful time. So while I adjust to starting a new business and Dylan adjusts to being a kindergartener, something tells me that while both of us may have bumps along the way, everything is going to turn out just fine.