Why do I get so upset on the first day of school?

January 28, 2019
This post has been repurposed from my post on Rattle and Mum


Dear Max and Rebecca

One would think that having a son in grade 4 would make me less of a crybaby on your first day of school…. but you’d be wrong. Watching you, taller than a few months ago, reuniting with friends, and waiting for your name to be called out, I could feel the ugly cry coming on.

It’s such a mixed time of year for me. I’m happy that you’re growing up, that you’re in a good school, that you’re in great hands (I hope?) and that you’ve settled in so well.

BUT, my little boy is no longer starting to feel like my little boy any more, and I’m scared you’re slipping through my fingers, which I know is age appropriate, but as I said, I’m mixed. You’re one shoe size away from me, and it’s maybe a matter of time before there’s a halt on the hugs goodbye at school, and the laughing at the silliest of things. Also, it’s just a matter of time until I can’t keep up with the homework, and will need to phone a friend, Google it, or turning to another learning resource.

Time sometimes separates us from our kids, and while I realise this is normal, it makes me a bit sore, and there aren’t many days quite like the first day of school that I’m reminded of it.

As for you Rebecca, you’ve also settled in well, though it still feels like you’re little enough that I’m feeling safely connected for now.

With both of you though, it’s sometimes difficult to think of you “out in the world” and I don’t know what’s going on. It’s another mixed bag – I’m happy you’re independent and have great spaces, but sometimes I want to hold you and guard them from everything out there.


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