I still remember my first day of school. My mom walked me into the room. Class had already begun, and all the children were standing up singing. I was terrified. I refused to let go of my mom. How could she leave me here by myself with all these strangers? Somehow she was able to separate herself from me. The teacher was very sweet and introduced me to one of the girls in the class. When my mom came back to pick me up a few hours later, I was overjoyed to see her, but I had so much fun that I was already asking her when I could come back. This and other first days of school are full of fond memories for me. I guess I always imagined that one day I would be kissing my own children as I sent them off to school, and hugging them tight when I came back to pick them up. Homeschooling sort of decreases the chances of that happening. But, I get a little taste of it once a week, when I drop off my children at the Kids’ Club at church for a couple of hours.
There are some days when Gabriel would get anxious about going to the club. “I think I’m gonna be nervous,” he would say. I haven’t quite figured out what he’s nervous about. Sometimes, right when he is about to walk in, he would say to me, “I think I’m gonna miss you.” Even though he may experience some apprehension, he will still go. But, I must admit that I suffer from my own separation anxiety, especially when I see him looking back at me as he walks into the crowded room of kids, as if to say, “Won’t you please stay here with me?”
The other night when I came to get him, the place was packed and busy with activity as kids of different ages were getting picked up by their parents. Running late, I was in the back of the line, trying to stand up on my toes to get a glimpse of my son waiting in the room with the other children. Amidst the sea of faces, his eyes caught mine, and he gave me the biggest grin, displaying all the gaps where his baby teeth once were. This most beautiful smile in the world melted my heart. Now that was better than all the first days of school I have ever imagined!
(Photo Credit: Roebot)