It’s a day that every mother dreams of. The day you walk hand-in-hand with your child for her very first day of school. A bittersweet milestone that marks the first day your baby starts her journey in life without the protective comfort of your motherly care.
And yet it seemed like minutes ago that you were locking cupboards, padding sharp corners, removing hazards from within reach of curious fingers. The silent ceremony of nudging, redirecting, and encouraging gives way to a new ceremony of handling off your child at the door.
Walking with my daughter, listening to her excited chatter about her first day in the big kid classroom, and watching her beam with pride at her new official status as a Kindergartner, my heart both soared and sank at the same time. Delighted at her newfound independence, but longing for the nervous toddler who watched the world from behind my legs.
Choking back the tears of joy as the Kindergarten teacher instructs her new little learners to find their coat hook, hang up their backpacks and change into their indoor shoes. Watching with pride as my daughter settled into her spot on the circle rug, giggling with her friends.
And then the moment when parents are dismissed with a cheerful wave and a hug. Walking home, I knew that everything had changed. I knew that things being as they should, today marked the beginning of a very important journey for my daughter. A journey of change and growth. A journey away from her mother.
Thankfully, one thing remains the same. The greeting that is music to every mother’s ear – “Mommy!” shouted with glee and outstretched arms at pick-up time. A small sign that my baby isn’t quite ready for the world without the protective comfort of her mother.