Our family has begun a new chapter. "Real" school. Luke started kindergarten yesterday and I confess I didn't let him go without a flood of tears. They started months ago. Here's a short list of my tearful moments:
- When I dropped him off for his last day of pre-k back in May
- When he graduated pre-k in May
- When I ordered his school uniforms in June
- When I shopped for school supplies a few weeks ago (yep, right in the middle of Target!)
- Walking into the "Meet and Greet" the day before kindergarten
- The night before kindergarten
Yes, that's the short list. So you're thinking I was a hot mess when the morning actually arrived, right? Well, be proud because I held it together and I owe it all to this little guy.
During breakfast, Luke actually had a flood of tears come over him too. He crawled on my lap and sobbed. Really sobbed. It was not a whiny cry but more of a complete emotional release. The anticipation of the day and the new beginning had overcome him. Somehow, I managed to contain myself and give my little rockstar a pep talk without a single tear from myself. I reminded him of all the hard work he had done in preschool to prepare for kindergarten. We talked about all the things we had practiced this summer together. I knew once it was "go time" his usual confidence would reveal itself but sometimes even the bravest of us need a little encouragement.
When we pulled up to school, I was still undecided as to whether I would walk him in or drop him off in the carpool, which was highly recommended by the staff. I was debating with myself out loud when Luke suddenly said, "Mom, I want to do carpool. It will be fun to try something new." So we did. He hopped out wearing the biggest smile! Somehow, I think he knew that walking into that big school might be too much for me to handle. He was right.
When I was finally out of sight, I cried. Okay, I sobbed. I wasn't prepared for this day to get here but I knew Luke was perfectly fine inside. Shortly after drop off, the parents joined the kids for chapel service. Afterwards, I caught a glimpse of him walking out and he proudly waved to me. I waved back without a single tear and snapped a photo. Then, I saw another little boy (who was crying) run into his mother's arms, which in turn made her break out in tears. I was relieved I didn't have to bear that and my heart ached for her. Once more I yelled goodbye to Luke but he was too focused on staying in line with his new friends. He didn't turn around again.
At that moment, I decided there would be no more tears. Only smiles and happy waves. Luke was ready to go on a new adventure and I didn't want to miss the ride.