How Can She Possibly…?

How can she possibly be ready?

I woke up at midnight with a tightness in my chest, grasping for breath. In the dark of the night, it felt like the walls were closing in on me. It was then I realized my pillow was wet and tear soaked.

As a mom who has stayed home with her babies, waking them up every day and taking care of their needs, this has to be one of the hardest things to do… sending them off, away from home for 7 hours a day, letting someone else take care of their needs. How can she possibly be ready?

How can she be ready to navigate the halls of the big grade school, swarming with other children? How will she find her way to her classroom without me being there to guide her? How can she know how to put her backpack away, take her snack to her desk and follow the order of the day without me there to help her? How can she possibly carry a big heavy tray full of lunch food across the crowded lunchroom without dumping it across the floor? How can she be ready for spelling tests, reading homework and math problems? How can she possibly be ready?

I know I’ve sent other kids off to school and they’ve thrived… but I worry about her so much. I worry that others won’t get and understand her quirky little self. I worry that she’ll be the one on the playground alone or sitting at the lunch table with no one else coming to sit by her. I worry that she just won’t get the school work that she’s given, even though I know she is completely capable. I worry about the kids out there who aren’t so kind… and I worry about her tender heart. She is a beautiful, wonderful, spirited, funny, sweet girl… but what if no one else sees that?

I’m leaving her in the hands of a trusted, loving, incredible teacher and I still worry. What if she can’t do it without me there… which is silly, I know, but how can she possibly be ready?

This is why we do this mothering thing, right? To prepare them for the day when they are pushed a little further and begin to really fly on their own.

But I still grasp at the thought… how can she possibly be ready? I know my heart is not.

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  1. says

    Oh mama, I hear you and feel your pain. My daughter is heading off to grade one this year too…well, a grade one/kindergarten combo actually (long story). The sad fact it, there will be buckets full of mummy tears across in September. Hugs to you from Toronto.

  2. says

    My children are so much older but I think that feeling never really leaves a mom. First day of preschool, first day of kindergarten, first day of high school, first day of college…and now here I am worrying about her in the first day of a new job. We have to have faith we have done our best to prepare them but all of that faith does not prepare us as well sometimes; don’t we all want to cling to our children just a little bit longer, just a little bit tighter through every transition?

    She looks adorable and I just feel certain her adorable presence and her quirky spirit will thrive with her mom there to support her. That I have faith in.

  3. The Husband says

    I wasn’t ready to read this the first time I saw it today. I have read this post more times than I should admit. I have had a front row ticket to see the Ella show since day one. There is so much going on behind those deep blue eyes. It has been a ride thus far and I think we just started and I don’t think she is going to follow a GPS’s instructions. Pretty sure we are to map some new territory, but it will never be boring. She is as ready as you get and she isn’t alone. She can’t read this post yet but she doesn’t need to, she knows you love her.

    Thank you for writing what I am unable to say. I agree with everyone else you are a great mother and wife.

    I love you.

  4. says

    Ahh…so sweet! I am pretty sure something is wrong with me, cause I am more than excited when school time comes around. It’s a little hard, sure, but guiltily I am more like the mom who sings happy songs down the isle of walmart while we are buying school supplies. Does that make me a bad mom? I hope not. They are always welcomed home with hugs and kisses at the end of each day! :)

  5. Shelby says

    Oh Kristen. You put a tear in my eye this morning. My baby is 25 and moved out of state in June. The feeling never goes away because we as moms, nurturers of our children, a job that never goes away, will always have a hard time really letting go. The only comfort is seeing them happy, even if our heart is missing them. Your little girl will do just fine because she has one awesome mom to look to. Hugs!!!

  6. says

    I probably shouldn’t have read this as I’m getting Peyton ready for school. I have been living absolutely everything you just said. I can’t stand the thought of her sitting alone, or being picked on. OR class being too hard. Gosh, I hate how hard it is to be a parent sometimes. I jsut want to keep her close forever.

  7. Heather K Miller says

    I just sent my first born to kindergarten two weeks ago and I felt this too. I felt my heart break in two when he walked away from me and into that classroom. I miss him so much and worry everyday about these same things. I don’t want my kids to grow up, but to stay small and in my arms forever.

  8. says

    Oh Kristen, I was not prepared to read this… First thing she is so sweet and I know for sure you have given her the tools to succeed. I don’t think the worrying ever goes away… My youngest just started 2nd grade and my oldest 5th grade, last year of elementary school and I have already gotten teary eyed. I have no clue what will happen when I see him walk down the aisle and graduate into Middle School, I am absolutely terrified of the thought. Just know that we are here for you… :-)

  9. kristin says

    I just randomly found your post via a google search. I know how you feel. I have started my 4 year old ( 5 in december) in full day kindergarden,just thinking about sending her ALL DAY has made me physically sick and have been in tears for about 3 days on and off!! I am getting used to it though.

    I am calling the school hopefully tomorrow to find out if i can get her into half days which is possible but it might single her out a bit! A full day for a 4 year old is just way too much, i am sorry. I’ve actually been pulling her out at lunch (1 pm) and not bringing her back cuz within a hour she is exhausted.
    They are only young once and with full day i don’t think it is fair they are taking more of their childhood away…not that you don’t make memories at school but come on.. I mean i think the transition will be easier for grade 1 as well for the both of us!


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