Did you cry when your baby stepped into that school for the first time?
Last Thursday, The Kid--my baby boy--donned his six-sizes-too-huge backpack and the most stain-free, collared shirt I could find, and went to school. For real--not this 'daycare-is-school-too' stuff. No, a real and true school with all the accoutrements. Music room crammed into the basement? Check. Old-fashioned, subterranean gym? Check. Metal detector in the entrance? Um, yeah--check. I'm still scratching my head on that one, but check.
I was not going to cry. Really. I've been successfully dropping The Kid off at daycare for almost three years. We have a quick hug, I remind him to keep his hands, feet, and all other objects to himself (really), and he's off without a look back, as am I. No drama, no hysterics. Just a quick and painless morning. That's how I like it. Why should the first day of kindergarten--a mere nine days after his last day of daycare--be any different?
Well, for starters, I'm something of an emotional sponge, and there were more than enough teary moms hanging around school to start to get to me. Luckily, we met up with my friend (not sister) Leah's husband and their two boys. Men, if you didn't know, do not get all choked up about the first day of kindergarten. Walking to school with a man was surprisingly calming. I was good to go.
So The Kid, the man, and the boys and I all roll into school on what is, hands down, one of the craziest days of the year. The line to get through the metal detector was about 30 deep. The kids don't have to go through it, but the grown ups do. Ironically, my purse set it off. The guard took my purse and handed it to me around the detector without checking my purse. I'm not yet clear how this makes The Kid any safer. Maybe I'm just rocking the 'mom' vibe extra hard.
Anyway, we go to class. His teacher is standing the hall, directing the children (read: herding cats). She's also handing out little baggies to the parents. I take mine and immediately forget about it as I work on getting The Kid to hang up his backpack, get his name tag, and remind him to keep his hands, feet, and all other objects to himself (really). Quick hug, quicker" love you," longer "BEHAVE!", and I'm out the door. No tears. Not even a lump.
I'm halfway down the block, musing on where the time has gone and also how much longer until I can eat a snack, when I realize I'm still holding the baggie. Upon closer inspection, there's a cotton ball, a tea bag, and a single tissue in it, as well as a note. The cotton ball was for something soft, the tea bag was to relax, and the tissue--well, that's just self-explanatory. I'm still good. Until I get to the last line on the note.
"Thank you for entrusting your child to me. I will take care of all them."
Oh, that was low. LOW.
So, by this time, I'm almost a block away from the school. I'm wearing business casual attire, and I am not holding the hand of a young child. To the rest of the world, I don't really have a good reason to cry in the middle of the morning. I manage to hold at 'teary' and make it to the car, where I sing along with Lady Gaga until I'm good enough for work.
The next weekend, I find out my loving, caring family had a pool--a pool, I tell you!--on whether or not I would cry. And not a single darned person picked 'teary.'