First Day of School Jitters

Confession: I've always thought that it's sort of kind of maybe just a smidge annoying when parents engage in dramatic public garment-rending over the fact that their precious baby is about to start preschool and will therefore be gone, GONE from their loving arms. I mean, buck up, Weepy, the kid's spending a couple mornings taste-testing someone else's glitter glue, it's not like he's shipping off to Afghanistan.

That said, oh my GOD my baby is going to start KINDERGARTEN in a month! He's going to be GONE, all week long! This is a totally different scenario and my growing school-related anxiety is totally JUSTIFIED and NOT RIDICULOUS AT ALL.


Oh, FINE, so it's a little ridiculous. Kids have to go off to school eventually, after all, and try though I may to tinker with my children's DNA through the careful application of various biological agents such as "Flavor Blasted Xplosive Pizza Goldfish Crackers," I can't seem to make them stop growing.

My son has a fairly blasé attitude about the fast-approaching school date—in his mind, it's just this vague thing that's supposed to happen after his birthday in August, and while he's faintly interested in the surrounding details ("Can I get a new backpack? How about a Wolverine lunchbox?"), I don't think he's got enough of a mental picture yet to be truly curious. Or, like, express how he's excited to begin his scholastic journey, but he's going to totally miss being home with me and he's going to think about me all day long and—

Uh. Okay, that last bit went off the rails a little. It's just ... agh, I'm going to miss him, you know? I'm used to him being around, dammit, and now he's going to be off doing his own thing every weekday and making friends who probably like the lame superheroes and pretty soon he's going to be bugging me for one of those beshitted Nintendo handheld whatsits because everyone else has one, Mom, god.

How will it affect my younger son to suddenly be alone with me all day? Will he like the attention, or will he miss his brother? Will their relationship change? Will our family dynamic be different? Will things be harder? Better? Just ... different?

I know it's silly to hand-wring over something that's less of a Traumatic Event and more of a rite of passage, and truly, I really am excited for him and I know he's going to have a lot of fun. I can't wait to hear about his adventures and watch him grow and blossom in a new environment. But oh, that first day is going to be rough. I can't eye-roll over preschool angst anymore, because no matter what the age, it's always bittersweet when your child steps off on their own.

How did things change in your home when your youngest entered kindergarten? Is there anything you wish you could go back and tell yourself (or your child) about starting school?

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