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8/15/2007
Letting Go
Hollis is starting pre-school in a few weeks. He's incredibly excited. He has a new back pack. He's potty trained (for the most part). He's excited about school. Everything is perfect.

Except for one little problem.

Me.

I am in complete and utter denial.
My son is not about to turn 3. He is not getting hair on his legs and turning into a lanky boy. He is not developing an attitude to go along with his newly developed verbal skills. (OK, maybe that actually is happening. I mean he's my son, right? Some sarcasm and disrespect were bound to creep in somewhere.) He's not growing up.

This morning on our way to daycare those lovely rose colored glasses I've been wearing were rudely ripped off of my face. They were ripped off by Mrs. Noel, Hollis's soon-to-be teacher. Damn her.

She sent all of the kids a nice little letter and some stickers. Hollis demanded I read the letter to him as we sat in the car this morning:

Dear Hollis,

I'm very glad you're going to be in my class this year. We're going to have
lots of fun learning new things, making new friends, having parties, playing and
going places.

Our first day of school will be Tuesday, September 4th. I'm sending you a
name tag to wear to school that day.

On Monday, August 27th, between 10:00 and 11:00, our school will be open
for "meet the teacher day." Please have Mom or Dad bring you by to meet me and
some of the other children in your class. I'm looking forward to meeting you
soon.

Love,
Mrs. Noel

I couldn't even make it through the letter without breaking down. How on earth am I going to make through "meet the teacher day" and the first day of school without traumatizing Hollis?

When my voice began to crack as I was reading him Mrs. Noel's letter this morning, Hollis asked, "What's wrong, Mommy?" I pulled myself together, bravely smiled at him in the rear view mirror and said, "Nothing, sweetie. Mommy's just happy for you."

On the 27th, just ignore the woman sitting in the corner of the blogosphere quietly weeping and rocking herself back and forth.

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38 Comments:

Blogger Julie Pippert said...

Oh babe.

I am sitting here crying because school hasn't started yet.

What words can I reach deep and find to offer you comfort?

Will friendship, support, and understanding do?

They do grow so quickly. That's always bittersweet.

You know? I think you'll feel better after the first day, when he enjoys himself.

(HUG)

Julie
Ravin' Picture Maven

Blogger CPA Mom said...

Tigger is almost 5. He starts private school (pre-K, due to cut off age) on August 27th. Meet the teacher is the week prior. I'm weeping with you. Seriously. How in the world did they get this big, so fast? (Tigger's teacher send him a welcome postcard too).

See you at the zoo Saturday! We can cry together then.

Blogger Binky said...

And I'm the one rocking back and forth with my arms over my eyes and ears trying to ignore the speed with which these children are growing up. It's way too traumatizing when you stop to think about it.

Blogger Tere said...

Oh man, I SO do not look forward to this. I get choked up just thinking about it!

So good luck to you guys. I think you'll make it o.k., but I would totally understand if you chose to lurk around his school all day.

Blogger DD said...

Two years ago I cried on X's first day of preschool.

A year ago I cried at X's first day of preschool.

Today I cried at X's first day of Kindergarten.

I'm sorry, but that First Day hasn't gotten easier.

Anonymous PT-LawMom said...

It's confirmed. I'm a bad Mommy. I didn't cry when Pumpkinhead started preschool. I was really excited for him and glad to know he was somewhere safe and educational while I was working, but it never occurred to me to look at it as a sad thing (you're the fifth person this week to tell me they cried/will cry at preschool start day - I don't even REMEMBER preschool start day!). I do, however, sometimes whimper a bit about him growing up fast and I can't believe he'll be in kindergarten next year. He's so amazing. :) Hope the first day goes smoothly and that he is so happy/excited that you can't help but smile through the tears.

Blogger Amy W said...

I am in the same boat. We actually had meet the teachers on Monday night.

Only one more year until kindergarten....AAAAAAAAHHHHHH.

Blogger ExPatSW said...

It's been almost 24 years since C started preschool and I still remember how desolate I felt. Sorry, can't offer words of comfort. Just know that you are not alone. Hugs!

Blogger painted maypole said...

my baby just started kindergarten this week, so I know your pain. How do they grow up so fast. It's a good thing no one has figured out how to keep them a certain age, because moms all over the world would do it, and then we'd miss the fabulous people they will grow up to be. Enjoy this last bit of time you have with him before school starts. And good luck on the big day.

Anonymous acumamakiki said...

my daughter starts first grade on the 6th and i still can't believe it. my heart cracks as i think about her being gone full days now, no more mornings together and lunch before school. what will i do with myself except weep and eat?

Blogger QT said...

Oh mama, you will get over it. My SIL bawled her eyes out after she dropped my nephew off because he ran from the car, so excited for his first day, he barely had time to kiss her goodbye.

GET READY!! Is there anyone you can meet up with for coffee after the drop-off to distract you? I know that sounds silly, but that is what I did with my SIL - for pre-school AND kindergarten.

Blogger Worker Mommy said...

I cried the first day I went back to work after having the twins. Wait scratched that - for the first month after having the twins but preschool not so much. I really was excited for them and the new things they would be doing and learning.

Now kindergarten that's a different story. Something about the twins in "grade school" does freak me out and might send me in to a fit of tears again.

Anonymous Momish said...

Since my daughter has been in daycare since she was eight weeks old, in many ways I can probably not relate to what you are going through at all.

Yet.

Sometimes, when I take her there and she rips her little hand out of mine and tears across the room to a toy or friend without so much as a glance back, my heart splits in two.

So yeah, in a way I know what you are feeling and I feel for you, really I do! I would like to say it gets easier, but it doesn't.

Blogger Lady Liberal said...

My Mom recalls that I marched my little behind right into Kindergarten and never looked back. No issues, no tears, just an excited kiddo.
And she went to the car to sob for half an hour.
So if you do sit and cry, that's ok! And if you surprise yourself by not crying and feeling proud (even relieved maybe) that's ok too.
But whatever you do, remember you've raised a terrific little boy-man who will be a gift to whatever classroom (or world) you turn him out into!
And either way, cry or smile, I'm told a three-martini-mama-lunch is helpful. That's my intended strategy when the time comes.. :)

Blogger NotAMeanGirl said...

I feel your pain. Shecky starts 2nd grade on the 27th. You would THINK it gets easier each year but it doesn't. At least not for me. He's starting in a new district, with completely new everything and I'm nervous for him. I'm also excited. He approaches life like its a giant adventure movie. Bless his bones. I can't help but get caught up in the plot and action myself.

Blogger Queeny said...

Awwww, that was sweet of his teacher. And I remember the days when I was saddened by the thought of my kids taking the big step to daycare and school. Now I can hardly wait to get No. 3 out the door.

I bawled (in front of my kids) on each of their first days of preschool. Today they started their second year, and I dropped them off then skipped down the hall.

I am so not a role model (I do miss them, does that count?).

Blogger slouching mom said...

LOL at Julie crying because school HASN'T started yet. I'm right there with her.

However -- and this is a big however -- I am looking at my children both being in school full-time in two weeks. That is HUGE. One in K, one in fourth.

Where did the time go?

Adorable photo of your young man.

Blogger flutter said...

Oh but the happy face that will greet you when he learns the world, will stop your rocking, and start the world spinning again.

He's beautiful.

Blogger jen said...

oh honey. I KNOW. M turns three in a few weeks and she went to her new "preschool" classroom and it killed me.

just killed me. honey..i know.

Blogger Mamma said...

Before you know it, you'll be saying to yourself, "isn't it time for them to go back to school yet?"

They are getting so big so fast.

When are they going to start sending money home?

Anonymous Mishel said...

My heart goes out to you:) My son is only 7 months old BUT when he was first born I was holding him and I told my husband: I am going to cherish these moments b/c one day he'll be too big and not want me to hold him and then he'll be 18yrs old.....: I already had tears in my eyes but at that point I really was crying. You're doing way better at your son being 3yrs old than I am doing w/mine being 7 months old:)

I cried and cried when The Princess started kindergarten....she was elated....I was DEVASTATED!

I got choked up when Junior Mayhem moved from the nursery to the "big side" of preschool.....I feel your pain!

YOU CAN DO IT!

Blogger April Brandon said...

We all go through that river....I can't believe that my youngest is almost 2. My oldest is a second grader now...so Denial is where I'm swimming these days. You'll both come out of this unscathed and a little stronger.

Blogger KC said...

Oh, but that was an awfully nice letter. It'll be bittersweet but exciting and a whole new adventure for him.

And what's a mommy without some tears sprinkled in?

Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

Steph,

(((you)))

You never know, you might love it.

xo,
OTJ

Anonymous slackermommy said...

The first one is so hard. Both me and my hubby cried with our first. I still get weepy every year with the first day of school mostly because it means my kids are another year older. They are growing up so fast. My kids know that I'll cry. I think they look forward to it. Go ahead and cry and let him see you. It's just more evidence for him of the depths of your love.

Blogger Brillig said...

I admit that I was SO EAGER to have my oldest two go to preschool. I mean, when my oldest was three I was pregnant with my fourth child. I was so busy, it felt great to pawn her off on someone else for a couple of hours.

But now that things have calmed down and she's about to start Kindergarten, it's hitting me a little harder. How did she get so big????

Blogger Gwen said...

What a nice teacher!

It is hard, and sad, the endless march of life and time, but just think: in a few years you, too, might be sleeping in on a Saturday morning while Hollis operates the TV and gets breakfast for everybody. :)

You're going to be just fine.

Blogger NotSoSage said...

Aw. This'll be me soon, too. Always pre-emptively mourning the next milestone that takes them further from us. Sigh.

Oh, LM. I know how you feel. I'm starting Little Guy at daycare for the first time on Sept 4th. I'm so nervous about it. And sad. It's hard to see them grow up. Even a little bit.

Hugs.

Anonymous Nancy said...

I hear you. Boy, do I hear you.

Mimi's starting kindergarten on Sept 4, and the same day Rosie's starting preschool at a totally new day care.

I am going to be a complete and utter wreck. maybe we can find a lonely corner of the blogsphere to sob in together?

Blogger Scylla said...

I would love to say it gets easier, but I cried when my daughter went to pre-school, cried when she went to Kindergarten, and feel the tears welling up for first grade.

She is already shooting me teenager looks, and six looks so much closer to twenty than it does to 1.

Mind some company in your corner?

Anonymous Emily said...

You know, I went through this in January when Zachary started pre-school. It just was not nearly as bad as I thought. I felt kinda hollow inside the first day, but he loved it so much that I got over it pretty fast.

It will not be as bad as you expect. I promise!

Blogger Nancy said...

And from the other side .... sure those first couple years are hard to let our babies go ... but by 2-3rd grade, most of us are crossing off summer calendar days until school starts ... and then the preteen / teens years ... well, you pray for a law to pass ... school 365 days a year =)

sigh, then they graduate, and you wish they were just starting kindergarten.

Blogger PunditMom said...

It's hard, but you'll make it. The day PunditGirl started preschool is burned in my memory. The whole day I was like a zombie -- unable to concentrate on anything, doing some errands, repeatedly checking my cell phone just in case I missed a call from the school. It is bittersweet, but you're going to love watching him learn and react. I'll be thinking of you. :)

Blogger Bon said...

oh sweetie...it's rough, isn't it? with every fabulous bit of growth and joy comes a very real loss, a moment in time and a particular moment in who they are that will never come back.

see, if i lived nearer, i'd come over with some nice morning margaritas...

Anonymous Anna said...

So with you. My Will, just turned three, is starting nursery school, and the whole orientation, school prep thing is turning me on my ear, since day care so nicely avoided the change of season, it just kept going.

I'll be rocking and weeping with you.

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