The “Real” First Day of Kindergarten

I really didn’t see it coming the day it hit me that G is starting to gain some independence. I expected it, even prayed for it, but still wasn’t ready when it came so suddenly. Last week, G walked himself to his kindergarten classroom.

In our house, we have been counting down the days until G started kindergarten. Where we live, the schools run on multiple calendars and some even go year-round. G’s first day was just after the Fourth of July. He went one day for staggered entry – each day a small group of kindergarteners arrive and get a tour of the school and take a few readiness assessments. To me, this was a breeze. Bringing G to his classroom that first day was, emotionally, no different than any day I had dropped him off at daycare or preschool.

Even the next week when he started going full time, it was really cool to walk him downstairs from my own classroom where I teach fifth grade to his kindergarten room. It was a little out of the way for me, but I really enjoyed it. I never suggested G walk himself down, either. But somehow, he got the idea, and next thing I know he was doing it.

Out of the blue one day last week, G asked to walk himself down the stairs. We said our goodbyes. I hugged him a little tighter that morning, and I watched him trundle off for the stairwell. My heart broke a little in that moment to see my boy going off on his own. No tears for me, but emotion, yes. It was bittersweet. I miss bringing him to his classroom already.

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