http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-parenting/post/the-first-day-of-schools-profound-impact-on-parents/2011/08/16/gIQA5N5aQJ_blog.html) this morning and it really got me thinking about how the first day of school impacts much more than just students. As a former teacher, I can assure you that your kids are in good hands, but that doesn't change the fact that starting school can be a big step for parents, too!
In her post, D'Arcy writes about how sending her little One off to Kindergarten for the first time is a gut-wrenching, tear-worthy experience, and I think that's something we don't consider often enough. She mentions that she feels all sorts of guilt and regret for not packing in more activities and time with her child before the "big send-off". We often hear about "empty nesters", who send their kids off to college, but how often do we allow moms and dads of 4-, 5- and 6-year olds to wallow in the fact that their "babies" are now, and for the next 15 or so years will be, be school-aged?
While I recognize that I'm in a completely different situation, taking my 21 month old to "school" (read: organized playgroup in a local community center on Friday mornings from 9:30-noon) did stir up a few feelings that I wasn't expecting. You always hear that you shouldn't blink because your babies will be grown up in that time, and I have to say it seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital. Now she's old enough to eat snack, play and be without me for hours at a time?! I'm thankful she's independent enough to do all of this without me, but I can't help but think that maybe I'm a little too disposable.
I'm sure this is more dramatic than it needs to be, but I do like that D'Arcy was brave enough to speak up about her feelings on sending her child to school for the first time. What do you think? Have you had similar experiences? Is it hardest when they first go to Kindergarten, or is middle school the kicker? What about high school and sending your kids off to college?