The Trail Head

Last week, I started putting the positive spin on how exciting it was going to be to get back to school, to see the teachers and the other kids.  But my five-year-old was not buying it.  “Sean!” I enthused, “You are going to be a kindergartner! You are going to be one of the big kids of the school! That’s a big deal!”

“You see Mom,” he said slowly and diplomatically, “Here’s the thing.  I’m not that big on kindergarten. I would rather just stay home with you.”

“But you see Sean,” I said, “Here’s the thing. I like you a whole lot better when you go away for a couple of hours.”

No. I didn’t really say that.  Even if it is somewhat true.

So then, Tuesday morning, we set up the tripod and took some pictures of our tiny tribe to mark this milestone.  And then together, AD and I drove Sean to the first day of what we hope will be a long and distinguished academic career, the trail head of a lifelong path to learning.

When we pulled into the parking lot, Sean unbuckled himself, grabbed his backpack and sprinted to his classroom never once looking back.  Whatever misgivings he had about going to kindergarten last week had vanished. Somewhere in the parking lot he became big on kindergarten.

When we finally caught up to him, he was already in his classroom and in the swing of things.  We peeked in the windows and watched him for a few minutes.  His posture was attentive, his hand eagerly rocketing up to answer questions we could not hear; not one stinking thing to indicate that he wasn’t comfortable and confident.  So we left. We were not needed here.

All in all, it was a rather anticlimactic milestone given that he is returning to the same school he’s been at for the past several years — he knows the drill, he knows the teachers and many of the students. Nothing new with which to contend.

When we got home, I got busy taking care of a some things that I had put off all summer and Antique Daddy got busy having himself a good sloppy man cry.

I guess it was not an anticlimactic milestone for everyone.


26 thoughts on “The Trail Head

  1. “But you see Sean,” I said, “Here’s the thing. I like you a whole lot better when you go away for a couple of hours.”

    Totally snorted over this line!! Love it!!

  2. Hee! Everyone thought I’d be all verklempt seeing my baby off to Kindergarten this year, but maybe in this day of preschool and daycare (for many), it’s not as much of a landmark for some of us! Though I admit it did feel weird just loading her onto a large, un-seat-belted yellow vehicle with a total stranger and watching them drive off.

    * * *
    I think the sight of my little boyfriend hopping on a school bus would make even crusty old me cry some big snotty tears.

  3. DramaBoy will be heading there next year, which is bigger a deal for me because holy cow, when did he grow up?!?! rather than because he’ll be away. I’m used to that–I work full time, so he’s been in daycare since he was a baby. He and The Widget call it “school,” however, so the idea of being a student is already well placed in their heads.

    Hopefully Antique Daddy can handle the angst a little better the second day…

    * * *
    Probably not. He’s terribly sentimental. Most days, for the past three years, he stands in the driveway dabbing tears and waving a hankie as I head out to take Sean to school, even though school is only 4 hours. Sometimes he does that even if we are just going to Walmart. I’m all “Dude, snap out of it” because I’m so sensitive.😉

  4. Wow! I’m proud of you. I’m already clearing the calendar for the week before and the week after Wog starts kindergarten (in 2 years). I plan to have myself a good two week (give or take) cry! 3K almost did me in!

  5. Between the post and your comments to the comments, I’m just cracking up! I’m slap happy due to lack of sleep but I’m sure even on a full adrenaline day, the idea of Antique Daddy blubbering and you snapping him into shape would make me snort. J is just as sappy…I SO get it.

  6. My son did the exact same holding hands on the way in, no kiss good-bye. We have video of the parking lot as I am running to catch up. And, we have pictures of the back of his head, as he slipped in the door. I scrapbooked that page and called it, “Mommie Got Robbed.”

    When my four-year-old daughter went to pre-K this year, she didn’t have a choice. We walked in hand-in-hand. I wasn’t getting robbed again! 🙂

  7. When my oldest son was born he had some serious health issues–all is well now. Anyway, when he was 2 weeks old, my husband found me standing in the doorway to his room crying as I watched him sleep. Alarmed, he asked me what was wrong. I looked at him and said, he’s just going to grow up and move away. Then when he did go off to college, I was all smiles and excitement and Dad was the one crying his eyes out. I kind of felt like the heartless mom, but hey, I’d been preparing myself for that for 18 years! I’d been watching that day sneak up for a long time.

  8. Awesome when they are ready, isn’t it? HJD also had some mistier moments than he expected, but we’re all into the groove of things after three weeks. Hoping it’s a wonderful, long path for them all. Also, my Jack has that same “I’m not big on…” phrase a lot lately…do you think we say it, or a show, or just their own spin? It’s a fun journey, to be sure!

  9. If they realized how long they were going to be in education for, they might be less eager to begin!

    I’m glad he’s got off to a good start.

  10. My son was the same way. Though my gut reaction was to freak out that he didn’t need me anymore, I have chosen to believe that I simply had done a good job instilling him with confidence and independence. Yep, I’ll go with that one.

  11. My little miracle boy started kindergarten last week too !!! He is handling it so well !!! On the first day, they toured the class (and parents) through the rest of the school which goes up through grade 8. As I looked into each classroom, I visulaized my beautiful baby boy growing and sitting in each of these classes and realized how quickly these days are really going. I was a teary eyed mess !!! I would love to keep him 5 and full of hugs and cuddles forever !!!

  12. That Other Kid did so much better than I expected sitting in the den “doing school”! In fact he wanted to get started eariler than I did….he told me he wanted to “do kindergarten so he could get smart!” He sat for a full 45 minutes without hardly moving! Of course that was 1st day! Today he could hardly sit still for 5 minutes at time!

  13. I love that photo, and AD is so sweet. I know both me and my hubby will be blubbering messes when that day comes along. In fact, as I was on a walk with Brennan and watching the kiddos climb into the big school buses a few weeks ago, I sobbed. I sobbed!! It was too much for me to handle thinking of my 8 month old one day climbing into that big school bus himself.

    I hope Sean continues to enjoy school! And speaking of enjoying some time away from him, did you put him in a mdo program and if so, how old was he?

  14. Victoria went to a little sheltered kindergarten too. . .but the THOUGHT of her being in kindergarten, well, that was another thing. Now she’s in MIDDLE SCHOOL. 🙂

  15. It’s always a little teary for me when they bravely face their new world alone. I tend to be very dry eyed and I usually don’t have any problem with tears because I’m so excited about the next adventure but you got me thinking about my little blond 5 year old boy LOVING his kindergarten teacher and being so excited to be a full day 1st grader. I miss that little guy and yet when it comes right down to it, he’s really the same sweet boy just in a man’s 19 year old body.

  16. Aww! I’m the crier in our family so its nice to read that about AD. That’s so sweet.

    My son asks me pretty much every day if he can stay home with me and his sister. It kills me. But like you, I like him much better after time apart 🙂

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