This week brought a special milestone to our house – Tristan had his first day at “big boy school.”
I set my alarm for 6:00, wanting everything to be ready for the first big day and not wanting to be rushed.
I rose to a dark room. The darkness felt heavy, solemn.
I cried in the shower. I cried blow drying my hair. I stood there staring in the mirror, internally asking myself some difficult questions.
Have I done enough in the time he’s been home?
Did we play enough? Read enough? Snuggle enough?
Have I prepared him well enough to go off to school on his own?
Of course I know the answer is yes, but in the silent darkness of that first day, logic was nowhere to be found. Emotions ruled.
We shared a special french toast breakfast and did the regular fanfare of first-day-of-school-pictures, where I had to use all my strength to hold it together.
I kissed his palm and placed a heart-shaped sticker in the centre of it, ready to feed him love from home at any time. (In “The Kissing Hand,” the mama raccoon kisses her little one’s hand before he heads off to school. Whenever he missed his mama, all he had to do was press his hand to his cheek and feel his mother’s love.)
I continued to fight the tears on the short drive to school, stopping talking mid-sentence occasionally to avoid having Tristan hear the strain in my voice.
And then we were there and his commencing of school happened somewhat like ripping off a bandaid. It all happened very quickly. We arrived and within minutes the doors were open and a nice teacher asked him his name and in he went. I knelt down to hug and kiss him, and wish him a wonderful day.
As he walked away into the school, he pressed his palm to his cheek.
And that’s when I lost it. With Tristan’s eyes no longer on me, I managed to squeak out, “Luc! I need a hug!” before the sobs started and my shoulders began to shake. It was a short lasting cry but one that had been building and needed to get out.
My little boy was off on a new adventure without me and I had to let him go.
I picked him up from his first bus ride after school, and as he peeked around the first row of seats on his way to the steps, his eyes lit up when he saw his mama waiting for him. I clicked a quick picture and enveloped him in my arms.
“Hey buddy! How was your first day of school?!”
“…a little bit fun…” was his reply.
…. a mostly positive response. I’ll take it! I know we both just need a little time to adjust!