I always loved school, but I don't think I ever slept the night before that first day back after a long summer. What would my new teacher be like? Would my friends be in my class this year? Who would come back with a dorky haircut or looking really cute? Last night, I had one of those all-too-familiar tossing and turning nights.
I honestly didn't think I'd experience that anxiety again, but sending my 3-year-old off to school for the first time was nerve wracking to put it mildly. What if he screams inconsolably when it's time for me to leave him there? Will the teacher remind him to go potty (and if not, will he be brave enough to speak up)? How will he act with the other kids, and what if they're way more aggressive than he is? Ahh, school days.
But to my surprise, J.J. walked right in, marched into his classroom and started checking out the toy shelf. He paused to say hi to his new teacher, and quickly gave me a kiss. I hung around, filling the teacher in on J.J.'s potty habits, where I stashed his sippy cup in case he had trouble with the regular cup, etc. Then I walked back over and watched J.J. figure out a puzzle he pulled out and started working on. I reassured him that he would have a great day, but who was I reassuring? He was already too engaged to pay any attention to me. I snapped a couple of pictures and gave him another quick hug before I left for work and couldn't believe that he barely looked back up at me.
All of the stress leading up to this day was centered on the wailing he'd do, how he'd cling to my hand and beg me not to go. I had hardly prepared myself for just the opposite -- the teacher telling me everything would be OK. And it was... I'm just not so sure I'm OK with it.