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sad that my child started school

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The First Time I Did Something For the Last Time

by Danielle Christopher

The rain is pounding on the roof so hard I thought it is going to cave in. I then realize it is my heart thumping in my chest at full warp speed. I know it’s time to say good bye.

I feel myself go breathless as I tell my youngest daughter’s support worker and teachers that it’s time. They already had their first free play time and circle. All the other moms have left, but me.

All the prep and speech exercises have led to this first time I leave her at preschool. Every consultant on her team has said it needs to be the time. With a fast exhale, I grab my coat and purse and tell my precious bonus daughter good-bye.

“Go have fun”, I say. Her worker is behind her to guide her to another activity. My daughter’s cries slip past the doorway as I close the classroom door.

As I walk around the corner out of sight, I can still feel my daughter’s cries loud in my heart. I lean against the school wall and let the tears go as the rain bounces off the grey sidewalk. I feel so weird, like I am missing a body part. Doubt riddles my brain wondering if this really is the right thing for her. Is this pushing her too hard?

My hands will not stop shaking. I text my husband to let him know I did this hard task. I didn’t dare phone him because I knew I would break into a shower  of tears.

The rain stops briefly. I realize I can’t hear my girl crying. I creep low, back around the corner to peer in the window. I know it will be trouble if she sees me.

I spy her. She is smushing paint brushes at the art table. Her support worker is right behind her.  My daughter’s face is clear of any tear drama she may have had on my leaving. I already knew she will be ok.  This proves it.

I walk to the car chanting- left, right, left, right, left, right. I feel so discombobulated as I walk, alone. I am solo for the first time since becoming a mom five years ago.

It is the first time for sending my youngest to school, and the last time I will ever take my child to school for the first time.  I am blessed with two daughters. A peace washes over me like a warm sunbeam.

Either of my girls may not remember their tears when I left them at school. I will never forget the first time I stop worrying as a mom for a moment and become excited for them to experience new things. Even if it’s without me, I will be there to collect them both and hear about their days.

 

Danielle Christopher is a stay-at-home mom of two daughters, ages one and three.  She blogs for The Momoir Project and writes book reviews for Women’s Post.  Her teen story is in the collection “Parent/Teen Stories: Without Judgement”.  She lives with her husband of seventeen years and her girls in Langley, B.C..   Follow her on Twitter.