If you checked any social media on Aug. 10, you were well aware it was the first day of school. Facebook feeds were flooded with pictures of kids grinning and clutching the straps of new backpacks.
This was my first time participating in this rite of
passage, as I sent my daughter
off to her first day of kindergarten.
I’d been preparing for that day for months. I practiced my big smile and brave face to use at drop-off, determined to keep a positive attitude even though I was crying inside.
Everyone kept telling me that CeCe would do great. They were all correct. She was fine.
I went home wounded at how easily she left my side.
The next day she detached with a simple hug, and by the third day she stopped me at the front door to the school and told me she could find her classroom on her own. Ouch.
After reading some Facebook posts by fellow Kindergarten Moms, I realized my sadness was preferable to the anguish they must have felt.
I read about children sobbing as parents walked away and little hands clutching to mom’s pant leg and refusing to let go.
Every child’s reaction to kindergarten is different. Our reaction as parents is vital to their ability to handle this transition.
My daughter adapted quickly and walked away with little fuss. So I had to walk away as well and mirror her independence.
I read advice about how to help children dealing with separation anxiety on these first days of school.
Acknowledging their feelings, taking a family photo to school, keeping a “lovey” in their backpack and staying positive are all ways to help cope.
The most daunting part of this experience is the knowledge that it’s only the beginning.
We have 12 more of these “First Days” to go with CeCe.
I doubt it will ever get easier, watching my first-born walk away from me down the hallway.
The best I can do is not cling to her legs and beg her to stay.
Watch ABC36 News at Noon on Tuesday, Sept. 6 to see Katie review her favorite products for mom and children.