"You're not there"
Today is Day 7 of Kindergarten for my Emmie Jane. Day 7 of tears. (Mostly her) All through the Spring she would excitedly announce "After summer, I go to school!" Once summer was here, she was disappointed to learn that months are long, and there were almost 3 of them before she would start. The week before school, she had huge smiles and excitedly talked about all the friends she would make. We met a sweet family at open house, and were able to set up a time for the two new Kindergartners to play at the park together before school started, assuring they would have at least one person they knew. The day came and she woke up with her earth warming smile. I had thankfully taken the day off so I could take her to school. We both did well all the way into school and up until it was time for me to leave. Tears fell as she latched on to me. (Read my blog post about her first day)My heart broke as I had to walk away from a crying little girl. I thought it would be better the second day. It wasn't. Not the second week either. I asked for advice on Facebook from parents who had walked through this with their sweet-peas, and poured over Pinterest for all of the great ideas that parents had tried. I purchased the book
A Kissing Hand for Chester Raccoon by Audrey Penn. I made her a photo book to bring to school, but she said she would be too sad to look at it. I made a "No Cry Bye Bye" chart as incentive. (Mark off a row and get a treat!) While the idea of a treat made her pause for a second, it did not stop the tears. We prayed together for strength and peace, reassured her, talked about her friends at school and all the fun things she was learning. We stayed positive, gave hugs, kept our chins up, and sent her to school. I'm telling you, I've gone through hard things in my life, but this is one of the hardest. She is not throwing a tantrum, she is not misbehaving, she is silently crying and looking up at her Mama to save her. And I helplessly drive to work each day after wiping her tears as they are still streaming down. On Thursday of last week, we tried the idea of drawing matching hearts on our hands. If she presses the heart, or gives it a kiss, I can feel it! Our hearts are connected. She loved this, and it helped some, even if the tears still came.
When I picked her up on Friday, she exclaimed "No school tomorrow!" And while I was equally as thrilled while we talked about our plans for the weekend and lots of snuggle time, I made sure to express to her that school is important. That learning what school will teach us will help us accomplish our dreams. She didn't seem to be buying it, but I don't want to be solely responsible for giving her a school complex. So, today is Monday and Mondays are always hard. But, the tears didn't start until it was almost time for me to leave. (Daddy was taking her today.) There were only a few, and I reminded her that she had already snuck a smiley face onto the No Cry Bye Bye chart next to the one she earned at church yesterday. (She started having a hard time going to Sunday School once school started too, so we are counting it! I didn't escape without 12 hugs first, but no tears!) She lifted her chin, gave me a hug, and only once did she say "But, you're not there". I'm calling this a win. She has such a quiet strength behind her eyes.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
While this is so hard, I was so relieved to see even a little bit of progress today. She's wearing my
necklace again, we have our hearts on our hands, and before I know it she will not want me around all the time. So, I sang "It won't be like this for long..." on the way to work and had less tears too. Looking forward to the day she can wave goodbye to me with a smile.