Speak Eagle

What Every Mom Needs to Hear on the First Day of Kindergarten

“Don’t worry, I’ll walk you to your class,” I reassure my almost-kindergartener.1st day of kindergarten

But he shakes his head. “Nah, I got this, Mom. I know where my class is.”

Really? Now, I realize he has the same teacher his 3 older brothers had and he’s been to her class a hundred times.

But still, I “fake cry” loudly, because that’s what drama mamas do. “Are you serious? You don’t want me to walk you to your class?”

He smiles. “No, I’m good.”

Sigh. And so my last child says goodbye to bottles and bibs and bouncy seats and enters his school years in rather independent fashion.

I read my Bible, curl up and take a nap (to make up for the hundreds of times I wanted to and couldn’t), and take a walk…all by myself.

I walk by our neighborhood park. My friend Katie is pushing her 2 year old on a swing. Her 5-month old baby is in the stroller kicking his feet.

“Look at you!” she exclaims. “Your first walk by yourself in 12 years!”

“Yeah, it feels a little weird! I feel like I need to come play with your kids or something!”

But I don’t. Because I’m going on a walk. All by myself. Because I can. And I want to enjoy it.

And suddenly it happens. A great big huge lump in my throat.   And a flood of questions.

Did I take them to the park enough? Did I laugh enough? Did I teach them about Jesus enough? Did I look at their little faces enough? Did I listen to their little voices enough? Did I enjoy them enough?

And then I’m awash with snapshots of my not-so-Norman-Rockwell moments, of grabbing a little arm too roughly or speaking too harshly, of being preoccupied or making them feel like they were an inconvenience, of the moments when I said “no” to playing because I had more “important” things to do.

Hot tears run down my cheeks. I call my sister. My voice is high and squeaky and broken up by sniffs.

“I feel like I’m saying goodbye to this…season of my life and I’m just wondering…if I was a good mommy. I hope I was a good mommy. I hope my boys know…how much I love them.”

And then, like a good big sister, her words wrap an arm around me. “Oh yes, you were a good mommy. You are a good mommy. Every time I talk to you you’re doing something with them, taking them places. And I can see it in their faces. They love you. And they know you love them. They are happy kids.”

“Thank you,” I squeak. “I needed to hear that.”  I’m thankful for sisters, for bosom friends, for a God who is big enough to make up for my not-enough moments.

Know someone who has a child starting kindergarten? Reassure her she’s done a good job, she’s a good mom, and that she still has many more sweet hours and days and years of parenting ahead.

My sister reminds me, ““Remember how we came home all the time during college? And how after college we even moved back in?”

Oh yeah, that’s right. Well, maybe just stop at the “you’re a good mom” part.


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