I wasn’t going to do it. I wasn’t going to write about your first day of school this year. Each milestone I think to myself, “Am I going to document this? Do I need to? Will I document everything or will I stop at some point? What if I don’t have the energy to do the same for your brothers? Should I keep writing for you anyways?” Apparently the answer is: this isn’t the year I stop.
You went to bed not terribly excited for kindergarten to start but certainly not upset about it either. Kind of just like any other night really. You woke up at two in the morning and got in bed with me. Again, not upset but perhaps a little nervous though you didn’t really let on. I sent you back to bed but found you at 6:30am with your bedroom light on and your outfit that we laid out just slightly tweaked (black and white striped leggings instead of jeans...hmmm). For some reason you have entered the phase where you really want to wear patterns on patterns and it’s a little painful for me. I hope I don’t create some type of long lasting issues for you with my need for everything to match/coordinate. You woke up on your own about two minutes before I was going to go wake you up. A win for the day because waking up naturally usually has you in a good mood, wake you a minute too soon and you’re a *teensy* bit sour for—a while. You’re first words to me were, “Mom! I really, really, REALLY want to go to Disneyland (pause) in Canada because it’s cold there and that’s were Elsa is!” All I could do is laugh and wonder where the heck you heard about Canada?!? (How I Met Your Mother maybe?) Much to my delight you and Max got ready without much fuss and we got out the door on time-ish--a true feat in the Bergantino household. Halfway to school it started, the inevitable first day of school tears (for me not you) I started asking you questions really slowly so my voice wouldn’t crack, quizzing you on class rules, emergency information etc. You answered everything perfectly and with gusto which made me feel ever so slightly better about leaving you in a room full of STRANGERS (fine, other 5 year olds, whatever) for 6.5 hours. It’s just like, HOW! Could you ever function for that long without ME to guide you? Impossible. As we walked to the drop-off area I held your hand tightly and you asked me, “Mom, what are YOU going to do now?” “Well me and Max are just going to go home sweetie.” “Oh. I really don’t like that.” And this is where is got extra hard because your bubbly, excited regular demeanor disappeared. A worried, anxious look replaced your smile and you stayed silent the rest of the way. We waited in line and I hugged you the whole time because you were cold. The sad look you gave me when you left with your class is literally haunting me. Still, I know you will be fine. You will be safe. You will snap out of it and have fun, make friends and learn. I am anxiously tapping my fingers on the table waiting until it’s time to pick you up. 3:17. The countdown is on. I’m torn with whether I hope you are relieved to see me and missed me as much as I missed you or if you didn’t give me a second thought as you were off to new things.
Just when I think I’m done crying and everything is good! What should I do? How should I be productive today? A fresh batch of tears finds their way to my eyes. I know we’ll find a routine, soon this will all be normal. But today it’s not. Today sucks. Today I packed my first lunchbox and took my first baby to Kindergarten.
P.S. Max misses you too. He was delighted to see these photos. Pointing and shouting "SISSY! SISSY LIVIA! SISSY!"
I would like to note when asked "what do you want to be when you grow up?" you actually said: On Mondays I want to be a swim teacher, on Tuesdays and Fridays I'll be a doctor, on Wednesdays I'll be a building designer, on Thursdays I'll be a dentist and I also want to take photos of babies. I asked when you planned on taking a break and you said, "I'm going to take the summers off. Except for some days in the summer when I'm going to be a police officer." #ambitious