I sent the heathens off this morning to their first full day of school. Just like every year, they were a little nervous, but unlike years past, they actually managed to keep their jitters pretty well under control.
Every year since they started school, the boys always get a little teary the first week, and it breaks my heart every single time. Their nervous tears have gotten better over the years, and thank goodness, because I don’t think I could do another tour of Demon-Baby screaming the place down for the first 30 minutes of school. Even with this gradual improvement, I still feel like an emotional wreck when I see their trembling lower lips as they realize that I am leaving them at school…like for real. I know that the tears are just a sign of apprehension due to new classes, new teachers and a new routine to learn. I also know that, by week three, they won’t flinch as the run through the doors to see their friends. However, I still have to get through this interim period of adjustment in which their little watery eyes shovel the Mom-guilt on me each morning.
I’ve also learned the hard way that my attempts to soothe them only make things worse. If anything, they get more teary and clingy, with a nice, gut-wrenching, “But Mama, I want to stay with yooouuuuu!!!” thrown in for good measure.
Even my big-boy 4th grader gets a severe case of first-day nerves:
But he did a really good job this morning of keeping his chin up.
So, I mostly avoided the tears today, but I confess I did depart the school gym at a high rate of speed when I dropped them off. I also confess that, while they have their teary, first-week jitters, I always have my own teary, painful, panicky feeling that I’m leaving my babies; and it sometimes takes everything I have not to run back in, snatch them up and hug them to pieces.