As a parent, we watch our kids go through a lot of firsts like their first word, first step and first tooth. We’ve been blessed to have so many firsts with our three incredible girls. And while the majority of them are happy moments and moments we want to remember so badly that we write it down, this week I experienced our first “first” that make my heart ache… Our youngest daughter’s first day of kindergarten. I was equally as excited as she was about it until it suddenly dawned on me. I’ll never be a part of another first day of kindergarten. And my heart broke.
Meet the Kindergarten Teacher
It all started last week when we went to meet Falynn’s teacher. She was literally walking faster than we could keep up with through the halls of her new school. Her little body was practically swallowed up by the large doors and long hallways.
She walked straight into her new kindergarten classroom, and right up to her new teacher and said “Hi! I’m Falynn.” As I watched from afar, I had to hold back the tears. My girl is fearless. She embraces every single new adventure and jumps in head first. She never worries about the things that could go wrong, like we tend to do. Instead, she focuses on all the things that will go right and how perfect it will all turn out.
When we found her table, there was a little boy sitting down in the seat next to hers. I was trying to sort out all of the supplies and get them to where they needed to go when Falynn asked me if she could go and play with her new friend on the other side of the room. It took her less than 5 minutes to make a new friend and the way they spoke to one another, it was like they had been friends for years. She was eager to introduce him and even more eager to learn every single thing she could about him.
Leaving the classroom that day, she was even more excited to come back and see her new kindergarten teacher and her new friend. And even while we walked around the school to get her older sister situated, she still kept an eye out for him, as well as other people she knew and gave hugs and high fives to anyone she recognized. She was already running the school, before she even officially started. I’m not sure what I was worried about.
First Day of Kindergarten
And while meet the teacher went smoothly, Monday morning was particularly hard. My alarm went off at 6:30am and my body was jolted into remembering that it wasn’t Summer anymore. I walked into the girls room, with my eyes half closed, rubbed Falynn on the arm and told her it was time to wake up for the first day of kindergarten. I’ve never seen anyone jump out of bed that quickly. She had her clothing picked out and placed in a neat pile and walked right over to it to get dressed. She couldn’t contain herself. The smile on her face was so big and so genuine, I thought my heart would burst.
She grabbed her snack, had a quick breakfast and I packed up the little gifts we made for her friends. We took our traditional first day of school picture with the new signs I printed from happinessishomemade.com and surprisingly, not one tear was shed. By me, I mean. The girls have never cried on the first day of school. They are obviously not as weak as I am in these milestone moments.
And then the bus arrived. The look on Falynn’s face was more than I could handle (see below and you’ll understand why). She had been talking about riding the school bus for at least a year. It was the first time she wouldn’t sit with me, in the car and watch her sisters get on the bus. It was the first time I left that bus stop on my own, without my little sidekick in the seat next to me.
I realized that this moment in our lives would never happen again. Falynn was our last and our girls are growing up. It’s as though I blinked and the last 5 and a half years flew by. Even though she still looks like my baby to me, I know that she won’t be forever. I know that pretty soon she won’t be asking me for kisses or to sleep in my bed. She won’t be asking for help tying her shoes or for me to read her a book. She won’t be asking me to get her some juice or help her into the car. Every day she becomes more independent and every day I try my best to accept it. But honestly, a little piece of my heart breaks as each year goes by.
First time on the School Bus
So as she stepped onto the bus that morning, I cried. I cried because although that first step was big and scary and she wasn’t sure if she could make it up herself, she still did it. And even though she did it awkwardly, she did it on her own and walked onto that bus with all the confidence her little 5 and a half year old body could hold.
As I watched the bus drive off, I said a little prayer that school would be everything she ever imagined, that the kids would be kind to her and that she would be kind to them. I prayed that her teacher had all of the tools she needed for a successful year and that she would keep my baby safe in any and all circumstances.
And for the next 7 hours, I thought of her often. I tried to imagine what she was doing at that very moment and if she was scared at any point. I wondered how many friends she made and whether she remembered to ask their name. I hoped that she got through the lunch line quickly and had enough time to eat.
Of course, when she got off of the bus, she was all smiles. The day couldn’t have gone better for her and I got an email from her teacher confirming it. I’m so proud of her, as I am with all three of my girls, but I’m also so sad that from now on, our family will be experiencing a lot of last “firsts”. And while there will absolutely be tears shed, they will also be tears of gratitude because I know that there are so many out there that will never get to experience these firsts even once and we are so lucky to be able to experience them all three different times.
I hope you all had a great Summer, that your little ones are loving school as much as my girls are and that you aren’t as big a mess as I’ve been.
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