The Bittersweet Emotions of Kindergarten Registration {An Open Letter to My Son}

schoolboy featuredI have known this day was coming, but I’m still not ready to let you go. Your preschool teachers have been preparing you and you are full of excitement. Nobody has prepared me, and to be honest, I’m scared, sad and nervous. Last month, I signed up and took the tour of the local elementary school where you will start your first day of kindergarten in just a few months. I had butterflies in my stomach as I got out my car and started to walk to the school office that day. During the tour I tried to listen to what was being said, but all I could think about were the new transitions that would soon be taking place for you and me.

My mind starts to wonder … this school is so big. What if you get lost? What if you need help finding the bathroom? Will your little arms be able to carry the tray in the cafeteria without dropping it? Will you make friends? What if you get bullied? The butterflies in my stomach have now turned into knots.

You are my baby; I’m not ready for you to grow up just yet.

Am I wrong for feeling this way? I want you to stay little. Shouldn’t I be happy you are growing up and ready to embark on this new journey? Honestly, part of me is happy and proud of you because I can see and feel the excitement in your face and words when you yell at the top of your lungs, “I’m going to kindergarten,” but then the other part of me just wants to cry. Okay, truth be told, I did cry the entire drive home from the tour. Bittersweet, a mixture of sadness and happiness is truly how I feel when I think about you starting your very first day of school.

cooperschoolHow can this be? You’re five years old. You have grown into such a sweet, caring and independent little boy. Your dad thinks I’m crazy; he says I should be happy you are growing up. I know you are ready to go to big boy school, but my mind travels back to the day I first laid eyes on you and held you in my arms for the first time. Time flies, and there is no stopping it. Believe me, if I had super powers, I would want time to stand still. I know it can’t and I know I can’t keep you little forever. As much as I want to, it just isn’t possible and that’s just silly.

Deep down, I know you are going to do great in kindergarten.

It is me that I’m afraid is going to be lost. I know you will love school and make many friends. I’m excited for you to learn and experience new things. As the year goes by, I know you will become more independent each day and flourish in your new environment. Just know, you will always be my baby and no matter how big you get that is something that won’t ever change. I wish like your favorite movie, Peter Pan, we could just go to Neverland where you would never grow up, but of course I’m reminded those kids don’t have moms and that is one of the best gifts I have been given. I’m ready to let you soar my sweet boy, but it’s going to be hard to sit back and watch.

Summer is here, we have 3 months of fun, and I’m going to make the most of it with you before you start school. I’m going to try and prepare myself as best I can for your first day of school. It will definitely be bittersweet, full of happiness for you and sadness for me. I won’t let you see me cry, but I know on that first day as you walk away from me with your back turned, the tears will flow down my face. Hopefully, your daddy will be there to wipe the tears away and reassure me that everything is going to be okay as you head off into the great unknown. I will be anxiously awaiting to pick you up all day to hear all about your first day of kindergarten.

Am I the only one that feels this way? Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for sending your first born off to kindergarten?



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