Kindergarten – you mean, mean wringer of tears

17 Aug

Is it possible to write well with a headache? I’m about to find out. I hate when I go to bed with a headache with expectations that my body will be back to normal in the morning and then waking up 8 hours later in the same sorry state. Right now I am angry at my body and I would kick my own ass–like Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club–but that wouldn’t help much, would it?

In three hours, Ainsley will be sitting at her desk by her laminated name tag on her first day of Kindergarten. It’s been five years since I went through this with Chloe, who is beginning fifth grade in a new school district. Everyone–and I mean everyone–likes to say “they grow up so fast.” When I find myself in a conversation with strangers I know there’s a 99% chance that they’ll tell me how fast my girls will grow up. Then I have a 75% chance of hearing that their children are all grown and living out of state and that they hardly ever see them or the grandkids.

Cherish every minute while their young.

Damn, I was going to just make fun of these people who go on and on about that, but it’s all true. The screen is blurry and I’m trying to blink back the tears. That familiar burning in my eyes. Jeesh.

Both girls begin at 9:15 at different schools. I’m walking Chloe to school at 8:45 (she would go earlier if we let her) and then driving with Jennifer to take the little one. The janitor will need to follow behind me to mop up my mess–no I’m not saying that I’ll be urinating all over myself. Tears, dear reader–tears. Each night for weeks, Ainsley throws her arms around me, crying, and says she’s scared to go to school. I tell her that after the first day she won’t be scared. I don’t tell her how scared I am. I squeeze her and say that kids all over the world are scared about their first day of school. Nothing I say seems to help.

Well, that’s not true. We have promised her a new toy if her first day goes okay and she promises to finish out the year. Yesterday she picked out a stuffed, gray cat at the local toy store, Once Upon a Toy. Chloe, who is not a bit scared about her first day of school, is also maneuvering for a new toy; she has her eye on a stuffed snowy owl.

The first day of Kindergarten is a good time to feel guilty about not being a perfect parent. I know, of course, that no such parent exists. Still, what about when I’m working and all Ainsley wants is to sit in my lap? Sometimes I say no. Work is never important enough that I can’t take a few minutes to “cherish” these moments. One day she’ll stop asking.


I can do better. Today, the first day of school, is a day to reevaluate. I will do better.


7 Responses to “Kindergarten – you mean, mean wringer of tears”

  1. CrystalSpins August 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    It’s funny, the way you talk about your kids is the way I sometimes feel about my life, my opportunities and my lost youth.


  2. 4eternalsunshine August 17, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Huh? What?!? You’re NOT a perfect parent? And all this time you had me fooled 🙂

    • fightn4it August 18, 2010 at 6:05 am #

      Ha. I should have said “perfect parents don’t exist (except for C.S. from Collinsville). Yesterday I read a story of a mom on an airplane who slapped her 13 month old because the baby had kicked her first.

  3. nursewrachette August 17, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    Not to ger all philisophical on you my dear friend, yes I think of you as a friend, your writings lean towards the pen pal type of guy, social situations are hard for me too.
    My mother was a kindergarten teacher, and would always come home with the first day of school stories. Some were sad at first and others new a neighbor kid but always in the end they cheered up and had fun. I know for a parent that sometimes the first leap out of the nest, no matter how little or big the step is the most painful one. You will be fine. For I have read your stories and know you are above all a good father.

    I wish all childrens fathers were like you, you set a good example.

    “It hurst the worst when your doing the right thing.”


    • fightn4it August 18, 2010 at 6:01 am #

      Thanks for your kind words, friend. You don’t have to be a good speller to be philosophical. Ha.

  4. nursewrachette August 17, 2010 at 9:57 pm #

    See I was tryin to be all phylisophical (still can’t spell) I meant hurts

  5. Aimee August 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm #

    Mine are going into 1st and 4th. the only anxiety they get and its mainly Cameron is weather or not Tysen will be in his class.Thankfully we got that all straightend out…Cameron was put in the MEAN teachers class so I changed it quickly. I had that mean teacher for 4th grade.I dont know if Ill ever seperate them. They arent interested in it..They didnt seperate the twins in my class! Tonight was meet the teacher night. The kids got to take in all their stuff and set up their desks. Im sad its starting but when I see how excited they are my sadness quickly goes away.
    Tomorrow they only go till 10. Friday they go till 3. we have new schedules this yr. M T T F they go 8:15 to 3:00 and on Wed they go 8:15 to 2:15. Why? I have no clue. the twins will eat breakfast at lincoln with logan every morning then hop on the cross town bus to get to class. Ill walk them to Lincoln daily. And watch for them to walk home everyday. I can see the school from here. thats all Their idea. I think theyll be fine.
    Tell Ains and Chloe Im proud they like school…Once Ains gets the hang of it..Youll do FINE too!!

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