I wish there was a word, or even an appropriate phrase, that I could use to describe the overwhelming mixture of pride and anxiety that accompanies my children’s first day of school. My son was so brave, knowing too well that school will always be a challenge for him, and hiding his worry behind a new Tony Hawk shirt and biting sarcasm. “It’s not like they’re going to make me do multiplication on the first day of third grade…right, mom?”
And my daughter, a first grader, so excited to eat lunch in the cafeteria like the big kids. If only there was a word that could describe how tightly she held my hand as I walked her to her class, and the look on her face when she saw that they had spelled her name wrong on her cubby and desk. My stomach actually dropped when she accidentally sat in the wrong desk then looked at me with shimmering eyes to whisper, “I’m confused, Mommy.”
It took everything I had to kiss her on the forehead, assure that everything would be fine, and walk away. Who knew taking my kids to school would be more of a physical strain that the 3-mile run I forced myself through when I got home.
The day was ultimately a success. Both kids, and I, survived. And while I have yet to find a word that can truly describe everything I felt that day, I know that I will have plenty of time to search another day. After all, we have many more years of firsts to get through;)