Tomorrow is H's first day of Kindergarten. Up until the past few days he has seemed very detached and nonchalant about it all, but like me he's been storing up his feelings on the subject, his energy, until the last moment. Not like me this go-round, since I've been nervous for more than a week about this transition (for normal, irrational motherly reasons.) But like me in that I often don't know how I feel about something until I get there, regardless of my tendency to anticipate and imagine. Anyway, H was found when I got home from work sitting on the livingroom floor, both arms wrapped around his backpack. I asked him, Are you giving your backpack a hug? And he answered No -- "I'm protecting it, I'm holding onto it TIGHTLY." I was able after a few moments to distract him with some special First Day lunch box items I'd brought. And the evening was pretty normal -- we ate dinner, looked at some shells Dean brought us from Cape Cod (including a whole smelly horseshoe crab), read a book ("Oh the Places You'll Go," a gift today from Auntie Dede).
At bedtime I remarked that we needed our sleep since tomorrow was a big day. And he said, "I hope you will pick me up after," a not-uncommon request for reassurance. And when I reiterated the dropping-off and picking-up plan, he began quietly to weep. "But I'll MISS you!" He said. He doesn't often mention it -- missing us during the day. He had an attack of the nerves. We snuggled and cuddled and pretty soon he was asleep. But tomorrow will require some delicacy. I hope teacher Barb has a knack for this sort of thing -- I hope not to wind up lingering unproductively with my weeping child, who will break my heart. And he's not used to me being the daily transporter, another factor -- his father has been doing this for years. H has until tomorrow always said his goodbyes to me at our door, before leaving with his father for daycare. So this is another dynamic stretch. He'll need me to evince a non-anxious presence, the right amount of caring and confidence. I hope I'm up to it.
He'll be okay, I know. He'll be safe there. I hope the three-day holiday weekend doesn't undo two schooldays worth of getting used to the change.