The Day Lia Started Kindergarten aka It’s OK to Cry

Lia loved preschool. Every day she would ask if it was a preschool day. And she’s been SO excited about starting kindergarten. We’ve had her first day outfit picked out for two days. She insisted on combing her own hair this morning and packing her own backpack. We took photos on the front steps like we always do then loaded into the car.

We dropped Max off in 3rd grade (how did he get so old?!) and took Ava to 1st grade. We hugged goodbye and headed to the other side of the school. We walked holding hands down the hallway and stood outside the door to the kindergarten classroom. We greeted her teacher at the door, hung up her backpack, and headed to her seat.

She sat happily in her chair and took turns hugging me and Josh. We took photos of her smiling at her desk. And I thought it would all be okay. But then it was time for us to leave and she wouldn’t let go. There were several kids in the classroom crying, including one of her good friends, and then she was crying. “I don’t want to go to school!” she said.

And I had to leave her. I had to leave my crying child in the kindergarten class and walk away. I could hear her screaming four classrooms away. We stayed for five minutes and she never stopped screaming. I wanted to badly to walk back into the kindergarten class and just hold her and stay all day.

I knew today would be hard. But I thought it would just be hard for me. I didn’t expect Lia to have a full on epic kicking and screaming meltdown when we left. And I didn’t expect to have to walk out the front door of the school, listening to my baby screaming for me, tears streaming down my face.

Sometimes letting our kids grow up is hard. I’m sitting here forcing myself to believe that she is happily running around the playground, sliding down slides and swinging on swings, shrieking with laughter. That she’s forgotten all about the heartache of goodbye this morning. That seeing her sister in passing in the cafeteria helped her remember that she’s loved. And that seeing our smiling faces after school will make it all ok.

Letting our kids grow up is hard, but we have to let them do it. I know that if I had gone back into that classroom this morning, it would have only made things worse. But that doesn’t stop me from wishing that I could have. As a mom, I often want to shelter my kids from discomfort and pain. And I think it’s okay to do that a little bit, but we have to let them have those experiences so they can grow.

Just know this… if you were crying at school today dropping off your babies (or you will be next week or the next week…), it’s okay. It’s okay to cry. We want them to stay little forever, but it just doesn’t work that way. Just know that they’re doing fine and you’ll be fine too. I promise. (I’m saying this for me too!)

Morning snuggles before school.Kindergartner getting ready for the first day of school.Making smoothies.Smoothies and eggs.Girl snuggling her basset hound.Kids being kids.Kids on the first day of school.Girl on her first day of kindergarten.Kids at school.

 

Jenny (290 Posts)

Jenny Solar is the co-founder of The Happy Family Movement and Phone Monsters, Inc. She's a wife to Josh and mama to three kiddos: Max, Ava, and Lia. She's passionate about creating memorable experiences for her family and inspiring others to do the same.


16 comments
Julia-tagandtibby
Julia-tagandtibby

your photos are beautiful and authentic! Our kids are stepping it up with school this year...kindergarten and transitional kindergarten. I'm happy for them and I am looking forward to the routine but I'll still likely cry ;)

Heather in OC
Heather in OC

Awww.  Well, at least you got to stay with her a little to *try* and comfort her.  My son was in 1st grade last year and we weren't allowed to step inside the classroom at all.  His teacher stood at the door and ushered everyone inside (after the morning flag salute out on the blacktop)  and literally peeled 2 kids off their mom's legs and quickly slammed the door shut before anyone could escape.  We all just sort of stood there feeling like the whole day was anti-climatic.  I guess I'll know what to expect in a couple of weeks!

I'm sure it will get easier from here :) 

Sarah_Bella_30
Sarah_Bella_30

My baby starts kindergarten on the 3rd of September and he's my last baby to send off to school. I'm fully anticipating a round of tears - though probably only on my part. The good news is, we have 2 weeks left to work on our summer bucket lists!

McClellandAM
McClellandAM

Reading this and the comments makes me feel a little better, that I won't be the only sobbing puddle of mama when I drop my girl off to school for the first time in a week and a half. I just hope I can make it out of her class room before the tears start rolling. I've been told by her teacher that there will be a "Boo Hoo" breakfast for the parents after we drop them off, so I guess I won' t be the only one there ;-)

SaraKirkSchneider
SaraKirkSchneider

She looks SO CUTE, especially at her desk!!! :)  I cried reading this.  My heart hurts even THINKING of sending my last child off to school!  And we have a couple of weeks before school starts to prepare for the others ... but are you ever REALLY prepared? I hope the end of the day was HAPPY!

btyjnsul52
btyjnsul52

The colors pop, I like it a lot, even if I'm not a pro.

HelenRansom
HelenRansom

Ugh! I've already cried so much in the last 24 hours, and my boys don't even start until tomorrow! I really didn't think I'd have such an emotional response before school had even started, but that whole "my babies are growing up" thing is hitting me hard. Reading your post made me tear up for the 800th time today, and I fully expect an emotional post on my own blog tomorrow. :)

RosemaryWineGustin
RosemaryWineGustin

I love her outfit along with her coordinating nails!  I love all of their bright shoes.  Max's freckles kill me!  They are so cute.  And Lia?   I absolutely know without a doubt that she is having a blast.  She has such an amazing little personality.  She'll have a million friends by the time you pick her up!!  

happyfammvmt
happyfammvmt moderator

@Heather in OC Ugh! I'm not sure there's a right way to do it... kids crying, moms crying. What a mess!! Good luck with your first day! Hope it goes well!

happyfammvmt
happyfammvmt moderator

@Sarah_Bella_30 yay for 2 weeks left!! It's SO weird having all the kids gone, but she's loving kindergarten now that she has a few days under her belt! Hope your first day does smoothly!

happyfammvmt
happyfammvmt moderator

@SaraKirkSchneider oh Sara... I don't think you can ever be prepared. That's part of the growing up... we parents have to do it too! Good luck with your kiddos' first day!

happyfammvmt
happyfammvmt moderator

@HelenRansom Good luck tomorrow!! If you can get out of the room without a meltdown, you'll be ok! And even if someone has a meltdown, it will still be ok. Sending you a huge hug! It will be awesome :)

happyfammvmt
happyfammvmt moderator

@RosemaryWineGustin the kids were SO excited about their shoes! They said it was their favorite thing about school starting ;) And she totally had an awesome day once she calmed down!! Hope your kiddos had a great day too!