All I can really think about lately—other than writing deadlines, always with the writing deadlines—is how starting September 6th, Riley’s going to be gone. Every weekday, all day, except for Wednesdays which are half days for some weird reason but whatever, point being: OFF INTO THE WORLD HE GOES.

I feel like everything is going to change. I don’t know how, I don’t know if these will be good changes or bad changes or a mix or what, I just feel convinced that we’re standing in the edge of a new milestone, one that’s bigger than first teeth and first steps and first words combined.

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It sounds ridiculous, I know, but the truth is I don’t want him to go. If I could hold this September date at bay for a million years, I would. But of course I can’t, nor should I. He’s excited. He’s going to have a wonderful time. It’s going to be great.

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I hope, I hope.

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Janet in Miami
Janet in Miami
10 years ago

I know what you mean, exactly. I felt it too, and really cried when I took my first child to her first day of real school.

Its the end of an era.

LauraC
10 years ago

I had SUPER ANXIETY about my twins starting kindergarten because they are only 5 and hello, both of my babies starting kindergarten the same day? And the first time they would be separated?

Happy to report Nate came home on Monday (first day) saying it was the best day of his entire life. Alex loved it too but he is not quite as expressive verbally.

PS. Hasn’t stopped the insane fighting. DAMN.

jamie
10 years ago

I feel the EXACT SAME WAY! My first born is off to Kindergarten for the first time in a couple of weeks.

Sunshyn
10 years ago

Yeah, before you know it, he’ll be in high school. Sigh. Seriously, my baby is off to third grade, and it seems like a couple of weeks ago we were doing kindergarten orientation. Baby chickies in the classroom! Show and tell! Now he wants to be a flippin’ ventriloquist. Like Jeff Denham. And that is totally all my fault.

Maura
Maura
10 years ago

I bring my son to college in 16 days I feel the exact way you do. I don’t want him to go, I feel everything is going to change. I know I have to let go, but it is painful.

Maura

lisak
lisak
10 years ago

I felt the exact same way as my oldest headed off to kdg. We dropped him off, gave him a hug and a kiss and went out for breakfast where I cried through the whole meal. He starts high school in less than a month. Wahhhh!

honeybecke
honeybecke
10 years ago

Arrgghhh! I have been having these same feelings and I was doing “pretty good” at keeping them at bay until I read this. Now I’m all weepy and nodding yes, yes. I know.
I totally know what you mean, our Kindergarten start date is Aug 22 and I too feel as if our world is about to change forever. I can’t help feeling dramatic about this, it’s a big freakin’ deal! I am sure it is going to be awesome and no doubt my E is ready to go out and learn but oh, I will miss him so. I don’t even want to THINK about how much his little brother will miss him…gah.

Nolita
10 years ago

Are you going to the “boo hoo” breakfast they typically have for parents on their first day? It might help. We had talked up K for a couple of years before my daughter started so she knew exactly what to expect (and so I could get used to it to). Same deal with the topics of “adoption” and “sex”, etc. Most of the mental prep was (is) for me to be okay, the kids are always ok. Hang in there, mama!

el-e-e
10 years ago

Oh, man, I remember that sinking feeling of worry, mixed with excitement/anticipation so, so well. I hope it’s a wonderful day, one to remember, and that school is a joy for him like it has been for me as a parent. He’s going to shine. :) HAVE FUN, RILEY!

el-e-e
10 years ago

I mean, a joy for you, too. :)

Kami
Kami
10 years ago

I’am going through the same thing, we start on Aug 18th. This is my third and final one to send off, sorry to report it never gets any easier. My baby, O.M.G. what if someone is mean to her, what if she needs me, who the hell is going to open her drink for her at lunch?!…the list goes on and on. Riley will do super but for us mama’s it is heart wrenching. Just know you are not alone.

He was the cutest baby ever, love that pic!

Junni
Junni
10 years ago

Riley is so stinkin cute.

JennB
10 years ago

My daughter starts 1st grade in a couple of weeks, and I don’t know who’s more excited – me or her. She loves school, loves to learn, and loves to come home. And I love it too! Only 2 more years until my son starts Kindergarten, and I can not wait! :)

BabyKMama
BabyKMama
10 years ago

Oh, that hurts my heart, and I still have a few years left before mine starts school! But I feel this way all the time… excited about the things to come, but wanting to save and preserve every version of him, and keep it forever… the baby, the speedy crawler, the tipsy walker… it goes by too fast.

Megsie
10 years ago

I remember that anxiety, and I TAUGHT KINDERGARTEN! It is a big shift, but it is so, so good too. After the first two days I felt so happy for my oldest. And I was so excited that she was out in the world, she was ready. By the time my other two were heading off to school the first day of school couldn’t come fast enough, but then it truly WAS an end to an era. But it was also a GREAT beginning.

Victoria
10 years ago

Oh *hugs*

Julia
Julia
10 years ago

I get this, because on August 30 I will be taking my youngest child to college. I will be child free for the first time in 25 years. I may need to introduce myself to my husband again. I have had very little social life outside my childrens’ activities and volunteer work at their schools. and the most amazing thing…..I swear I just took the oldest to his first day of kindergarten about a week ago. I love who they’ve become and that is what soothes my frantic moments.

Jessica
10 years ago

I have a baby boy about the age Riley is in the first picture and now you have me bawling about him going to kindergarten!

agirlandaboy
10 years ago

It’s going to be awesome and terrible and inevitable and worth it, and I can’t wait to see what wonderful things will come out of it, for him and for you.

TinaNZ
TinaNZ
10 years ago

That last picture of Riley is so beautiful.

Trina
Trina
10 years ago

Having been in your shoes at this time last year, I know how you feel. I was a wreck. I cried my eyes out and wasn’t sure what to expect.

I promise you at this time next year you will be counting the days until school starts.

Erika
Erika
10 years ago

He looks like you. That baby pic is just precious. I’m amazed that you didn’t eat him whole.

ssm
ssm
10 years ago

It’s not ridiculous AT ALL. I sobbed the first day my older boy left for kindergarten (he was fine, never looking back, damn him and his maturity).

MRW
MRW
10 years ago

The day we brought my son home from the hospital I cried my eyes out because (I was hormonal as hell, but ALSO because) I knew it was going to seem like in no time he was going to grow up. He starts 3rd grade this year and although sometimes the days seem long, the years always seem so short.

Deb
Deb
10 years ago

Ah, I was hoping you’d feel the lure of homeschooling….

PS – that boy is so CUTE!

Melissa R
Melissa R
10 years ago

It will be great, and he will have a wonderful time.

But you’ll be sad, nonetheless. My boys just went back to school today – 4th grade and 9th grade (high school, ohmygod, hold me). And last night, I kept telling my husband, “Can’t I just keep them home? Do they really have to go?” I didn’t want them to go, and the house felt so very empty today with them gone.

But then they each stepped off the school bus with a smile on their faces, and I know that it’s good…it’s part of them growing up and being taught how to exist in the world without me, and that’s why it’s hard for me, but it’s good for them.

Melissa
Melissa
10 years ago

Slow Down Time!!!
What an unfair job it is being a mama…helping them grow into independent people who don’t need us.

Melissa
Melissa
10 years ago

Not that Riley doesn’t need you of course…just that the better you are at your job…well, whatever. I’m rambling.
Good luck with this new step. You’ll be in my thoughts and I can’t wait to read about how it goes for you both.

Donna
Donna
10 years ago

Sigh. Where has the time gone? He was just born yesterday…and Dylan today at noon. Buy plenty of tissue, wear waterproof mascara.

Danell
Danell
10 years ago

*sniff*

Me too.

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

I must be a cold-hearted bitch, because when my oldest started Kindergarten last fall, I sort of rejoiced. ;) If not only for the opportunities that would come to him, the doors that would be opened, the treasure chests that would be unlocked. Learning to read! Making new friends! Starting to piece together the puzzles of life’s little mysteries one at a time. The confidence of learning and growing and the self-esteem that comes with a sense of autonomy. Whenever I get wistful about my babies growing older, or ending a chapter, or accomplishing a milestone, I remember this passage by Kahlil Gibran. It knocks perspective back into me (it’s a little long, so excuse me). Because after all, as sad as it sometimes sounds, our job as parents is to raise our children (gulp) to leave us and equip them with the skills they need to do just that.

On Children — Kahlil Gibran
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you, and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love, but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies, but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but not make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and he bends with his might that his arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; for even as he loves the arrow that flies, so he loves also the bow that is stable.”

So I guess our job is to launch our little arrows and hope (with baited breathe, that they land in the right place).

Good luck Riley! (and mama too!)

Marie Green
10 years ago

I had a hard time letting my twins start kindergarten. I processed it and dwelled on it and mulled it and mourned it, starting probably a year before they actually WENT to school. What I found was, I had done so much processing of it all that when the day finally came, it was bittersweet, but I was ok. I had worked through so many of the emotions and I was ready to just RIP THE BANDAID OFF ALREADY. On the first day, the parents join the kids for the first part of the day, and when it was time for us to leave, I walked across the parking lot with a pang in my chest, holding my husband’s hand… but dry-eyed and at peace with it all too.

Jenny
Jenny
10 years ago

Long time lurker here. I had to comment to this one, because I have a 5 y/o who is starting kindergarten this Sept as well and I FEEL THE EXACT SAME WAY. My boy is growing up… I’m both happy and sad about that.

elz
elz
10 years ago

I was surprisingly ok with my older daughter going to K and 1st (it was at the same school as her preschool). But, in a few days, my baby goes into Kindergarten and I’m a ball of nerves. For her, to know that the end of babyhood is officially here, for the changes…sunrise…sunset…

Susan
Susan
10 years ago

I know exactly how you feel. It’s not ridiculous, it’s part of being a Mom. I was sad the whole summer before my son started kindergarten. Then on the first day parents were invited to stay for an hour and I swear I got as excited as he did hearing about what “we” were going to be doing at school. Turns out we both loved school and I spent a lot of volunteer hours there over the next 7 years. His whole 6th grade year I was sad whenever I thought about him moving on to middle school. But, middle school was awesome. I didn’t get as much involved at school – that was his territory. Instead I was the “taxi” Mom who picked up after school and enjoyed hearing him and his goofy friends talk about their day. Now he’s gone off to college and I’ve spent this summer feeling like my heart was being ripped right out of my chest. Then yesterday I watched a friend bury her 14 year old. She can’t text him or hear his voice on the phone or look forward to seeing if he’ll get married or have children or what he’ll do with his life. And now I’m feeling so very fortunate to have a son in college.

adequatemom
10 years ago

Apparently time really speeds up (for us) once they’re in school. I’m having a lot of similar feelings about my daughter starting preschool in a couple of weeks. I spoke with the preschool’s manager the other day to get all the details worked out, and she told me “We’re really looking forward to having Gwen here. We’ve got her cubby all set up for her.” A CUBBY! My child has a cubby. I can’t even say it aloud without my voice breaking!

perl
perl
10 years ago

I think it might have been a little easier having my little dude in 1/2 day Kinder. (due to budget cuts – I would have loved him to be there all day and he would have loved it, too). Having him gone all day for 1st grade doesn’t seem so daunting. I totally love the guy but we do so much better having some time apart. It was hilarious how I would marvel, each time I took him to school, how I could just drop him off! For free!

Erica
Erica
10 years ago

It’s amazing how much that baby pic of Riley looks so much like him today. Adorable.

Hang in there, mama! I sent my firstborn off to all-day K last fall, so I know the feeling!

Sandy
Sandy
10 years ago

My youngest leaves for college in 20 days(not that I am counting). Time marches on.

Christine
10 years ago

Oooh baby Riley! He’s such a wonderful kid Linda.

Also Jeeesus I’ve been reading here since before he was born. Eep

Melissa
10 years ago

After sending a couple of kids off to kindergarten, I’ve decided that we moms are in for it, no matter what, on that first day. If they cry and don’t want you to leave them, you feel terrible. If they casually wave and walk off like you’re just the taxi driver, you feel terrible. But then they come home full of the wonder of their first day of school and all is well!

Nik-Nak
10 years ago

I am curious to know how you think Dylan will handle him being gone through the week now? Do you suppose it will disrupt his routine? Or will he manage just fine? The latter I hope.

I like to file away all of this advice and info for when my kid gets a bit older.

jennifer
jennifer
10 years ago

STOP. IT. I just dropped mine off for his 2nd day of (all day!) kindergarten. Now I’m crying again. I thought it would be easy because my boys go to daycare…but as you are saying, it is a whole other thing now!

Stephanie
Stephanie
10 years ago

My daughter starts kindergarten in 2 weeks. I’m already a mess just talking about it. I can’t imagine how the first day is going to be. And my husband is a crier so it’s going to be waterworks all the way around.

Lisa
Lisa
10 years ago

I got choked up reading this and thinking about my own boys. My oldest is only starting half-day pre-K this year and I’m already wringing my hands. I can’t even think about “all day, every day”….

Leslie
Leslie
10 years ago

My 23 year old daughter moved back home after graduating college and just started a new job. She’s currently living with us because hey, it’s free and dad keeps gas in her car.

But not having much privacy and sharing a bathroom with her younger brother is getting old. She’s been talking about getting her own place and I haven’t said anything and probably won’t…but I don’t want my baby to leave!

Katie
Katie
10 years ago

My oldest daughter is starting kindergarten in two weeks and I feel exactly the same way. It feels like SUCH a big milestone.

I have felt so much pressure to pack everything in to this summer like it is our “last summer”. Which is totally silly, but well, you know.

I just feel on the brink of everything changing.

Jess
Jess
10 years ago

Aaaaaaaand, that is why I’m homeschooling the kindergarten year. 5 is just too young to be gone all day. Or rather, 5 is too young for ME to have him gone all day. I get a lump in my throat every time I even see the title of your post. Time flies by way too freaking fast. We are homeschooling this year, and he will start 1st grade next year. Even though I feel (felt) totally confident in this, now that the school year is starting, I’m praying that my desire to homeschool really was out of my best interest for him…..not my inabilty to let go.

Mandy
Mandy
10 years ago

Crying at my desk at work, I was just looking at baby pictures of my five year old and decided to check in on All & Sundry before I head home…and here still I sit. Kindergarten is just a few weeks away for us, preschool graduation is tomorrow. She’s been in full time daycare almost her entire life, yet this seems like a major change. There are good things – most of my commute will be alone, no more MM Clubhouse music or constant “why” conversations, but I too worry about all the little things with being out of the loop during the day.

I work in Student Affairs at a college, so I see the transition from students and parents from a professional perspective every day, but now I know a little bit better what that actually feels like, to not believe how time has flown and how they will take care of themselves without mom and/or dad.

Good luck to all the parents facing transition over the next few weeks!

Shawna
Shawna
10 years ago

What is with all the kids starting school for the year already? What happened to back to school after Labour Day in September?

My oldest will be starting senior kindergarten this fall. What will really throw me for a loop will be next year, when she starts Grade 1 which is all day, and the baby of the family starts junior kindergarten…