I haven’t cried on the first day of school since Bee was in kindergarten, but today I did.
Today is Bee’s first day in 4th grade.
I was fine last night, when we visited her classroom, and met her teacher. Bee was nervous, especially when she learned that 4th grade is the first year for letter grades, detention, student planners, and homework. She was also worried about making friends, but after she saw the class list, and realized that she already knows many of the kids in her class, she felt much better.
This morning I got up early to make chocolate chip pancakes, her requested first day of school breakfast. Aside from a mild case of first day jitters, she was fine, and so was I.
Until we left her classroom. That’s when I fell apart.
I was hit all at once with several realizations. She’ll be nine years old in a couple of months, and my time with her at home is halfway over. And because she’s skipping a grade, she’ll be leaving me one year sooner. But – and I know this sounds silly – I was most upset because it occurred to me that I won’t have a 3rd grade portrait to put in her school days picture frame.
When we left, Bee’s guidance counselor was standing outside the school, welcoming the kids, and he noticed my tear-stained face. I sniffed and hiccupped my way through all of my fears and worries, and he reassured me that this is the best thing for Bee, and he will be watching out for her.
I know he’s right. This is the best choice for Bee, and we put a lot of thought into this decision. We did everything we could to prepare her for this transition, and I know that in the long run, she will be so much happier.
But she’s my baby, and I’m still sad.
DJ will also miss Bee very much, and he’s quiet and pensive this morning. He’s just been sitting in this laundry basket, looking all melancholy, ever since we got home from the school.
These three have been joined at the hip all summer, and now one is missing. Next week, when Cakes starts preschool, it will be just DJ and me at home. The house will be very, very quiet.
I took this picture after they all got back-to-school haircuts – it was DJ’s first one.
So far, Cakes seems unaffected by Bee’s absence. In fact, as soon as we got home, she helped herself to Bee’s MP3 player, and all of her stuffed animals, since Bee isn’t around to scold and forbid her from playing with them.
I’m guessing that by lunchtime, she’ll be really missing her big sister.
I miss her already.[print-me/]