To My Little Boy, On Your First Day Of Kindergarten

My Sweet Boy,Inclass_copy

Everything about you looked so big to me this morning.  Those hands that used to barely fit around my finger nearly filled my entire hand as we walked down the hall.  Those shoulders that used to hunch up against my chest seemed so broad as you proudly carried your new backpack.  And those sweet brown eyes that used to spend hours scrunched in colicky anguish were round and bright and full of anticipation at what awaits you. 

You had only a brief moment of hesitation before you ventured into your classroom.  I saw the momentary uncertainty flash in your eyes as you let go of my hand.  But I reached down and kissed your cheek, and I told you I’d stand out in the hall for a minute or two if you needed me.  "I’ll be right here," I whispered.   That was all you needed–you bounded forward with confidence, never looking back. 

This is as it should be.  Your eyes should be ahead–watchful, ready to learn, eager to take in all life will bring you.  My eyes are looking ahead too, realizing that this big step of independence you took this morning will be followed by many.  Lost teeth, too-short jeans, a deeper voice and first dates…each bold step will take a you a step further toward manhood, and further away from me.

And with bittersweet joy in my heart, I tell you, my boy:  Go.  Step into each new life experience with the same eager expectation I saw on your face this morning.  I trust the One who made you to steer you just where He would have you go.   I can’t wait to see the man He will shape you into.   

But when the adventure gets bumpy, whether it’s a skinned knee in kindergarten, a bruised ego in 5th grade or a broken heart in college, just point yourself toward home.  I’ll be right here.

60 thoughts on “To My Little Boy, On Your First Day Of Kindergarten

  1. Denise says:

    Oh my goodness, Shannon, the tears are just flowing this morning. It may have something to do with emotions I have about sending all three of my boys to public school this year after having homeschooled them all along. They are entering 2nd, 4th and 5th grades. Whew, where’s the Kleenex?!

  2. Rebecca says:

    Ack. Now I’m crying before breakfast! My little guy starts school this September, and I am having to keep such a strong upper lip….

  3. Barb says:

    The day my first child started kindergarten I was also starting a brand new job. When I showed up at my office all trembly with red swollen eyes, barely able to acknowledge introductions to new coworkers, all I had to say was, “My baby started school today.” The sympathy and understanding was overwhelming. People who’ve done this know exactly how you feel. Very bittersweet indeed. Very moving post, Shannon.

  4. Susan says:

    My children are a little older than yours, 22, 20, and nearly 15, but I remember those first days very clearly.
    They are very bitter sweet aren’t they?

  5. Wendy says:

    Looks like I have joined the other crying moms. What a sweet post! My oldest is the same age, so I could really relate to this.

  6. Randi says:

    Such a sweet post! It is hard to send our babies off into the world of growing up, but it must be done, right? the first time I sent my daughter off to school was when she was 16 and she hopped into the car to drive to the community college–believe it or not, I cried as she drove away. Yes, I know this is ridiculous, but true!

  7. Mom Nancy says:

    Okay, that brought tears to my eyes. My little guy started preschool this week, and he, too, never looked back. I prayed that he wouldn’t because, as you said, that’s how it should be and we as parents raise them so they won’t need us. Sigh.
    however, I now have the house to myself for 3 hours a day, so I think I can dry my tears.

  8. SunshineMomma70 says:

    Yeah that made me cry. My kids are 8 and 12. I remember their first day of school. It’s hard to let them go and find their own way. I pray that ours will keep God with them and know that Hubby and I will always be there for them. Great post. So open and honest. Thank you. =)

  9. Connie Jardim says:

    You just brought back memories of my kids very first days…
    Then there is first day in middle school and high school – which was almost worse than Kindergarten.
    They grow fast – enjoy the moment.

  10. Laura says:

    I am far too pregnant (read as: hormonal) to read something like this and not desolve into a puddle of tears. What a sweet letter…

  11. aggiejenn says:

    How sweet, Shannon. What a blessed little boy. I hope his first day was a great one! (My sister came home from the first day of first grade and said, “How much longer do I have?” School wasn’t always her thing!)

  12. mom2fur says:

    I’m sending your son wishes for happiness as he moves on through his school years. I hope he has the best friends, the nicest teachers and the greatest adventures! I hope his eyes are always bright and his mind is always open! Best of luck, little guy!

  13. Antique Mommy says:

    “I trust the One who made you to steer you just where He would have you go.” I think this every time I look at my little boy and I know that it is true, in spite of me and not because of me. That day will be here for Sean and I too soon.

  14. Noelle says:

    That needs to be kept somewhere special for him to read each day he starts the next grade. It might not mean much to him now because he’s to young.. it might not mean to much to him in 10 years because he’ll be one of those teenagers who doesn’t like the mushy stuff – but by the time the boy gets married… I would LOVE something like that – to always help me keep my eyes forward….

  15. Shalee says:

    First days are always hard for me, no matter the grade. I love that they are growing and doing what God has created them to do, but my heart aches and knowing they will never be the same again. God is good, though, he always get all of us through.
    Beautiful words again Shannon, straight from your loving momma heart.

  16. Mary says:

    Oh my word, Shannon! That was so beautifully written. I am dissolving into a puddle! My daughter starts preschool in a few weeks, and I am so excited for her, but part of me aches knowing that we will never again NOT be staring school in the fall! Bittersweet times…

  17. Mama Darlin says:

    *Wimpers* Good grief, how am I ever going to do that when homeschool comes to a close? Kids always do look so grown up when they take those steps!!! But a mother never forgets the little bity things they were!

  18. Tammy says:

    Yep, I’m another that was touched and yet I homeschool!
    I think it’s because all of our little ones keep taking those steps away from us in one way or another as they grow.

  19. Laura says:

    (Holding back tears, must not dissolve again…)
    Yesterday my firstborn started kindergarten… I managed to hold in the tears until we got back in the car to leave.
    It was a hard day; today was easier.
    Maybe tomorrow will start to feel normal? I doubt it…
    He came home this afternoon and said it was his best day ever! Who can be sad when your kid says something like that?
    (((HUGS))) going through it right here with you…

  20. Silvana says:

    Hey Shannon!
    What a great post – I don’t have any kids yet, but I’m sitting here at work crying my little eyes out. I hope to be a great mom like you :0) – Silvana

  21. Andrea says:

    I remember my first doing this like it was yesterday (5 years ago) and I really dread my son doing this in another couple of years. Check out the book, “Let Me Hold You Longer” by Karen Kingsbury. Priceless. Great post!

  22. mimi2six says:

    You wrote so beautifully of the tender feelings parents feel at this particular milestone….starting kindergarten. The other milestones are hard, but there’s something especially hard about starting kindergarten. How blessed he is to have such support and security from his parents…he’ll always do just fine because he knows y’all are right behind him and are there for him. Speaking of significant milestones and the emotion involved….one of my favorite pictures from your wedding is the one of your dad walking you down the aisle. He was looking at you with an expression full of love, and you were looking at your to-be-hubs with the same expression of love. That picture says it all. One of my favorite sayings about parenting is “Give your children two things; one is roots and the other is wings.” Giving them roots is fun; giving them wings is incredibly hard. You and hubs do an wonderful job of both.

  23. Jill says:

    You articulated just what I was feeling last year when my sweet boy went to Kindergarten! Can I borrow those words for his scrapbook? Yes, I’m that far behind!!!

  24. Heather says:

    That is so beautifully written! My oldest child, my little boy, had his first day at kindergarten today also. He was excited and ready to go, it was me that was so hesitant. I wanted to drive him to school, but he wanted to ride the bus, so, of course, we let him. We he walked up the stairs onto the bus, he looked sooo big! I couldn’t believe it. The jeans we bought him mid-summer for school were already a little too short!

  25. Deborah Li says:

    Sigh.. I’m heading back across the ocean to college in about 8 hrs.. and this post is the final push across to tears. I can’t help but think that’s what my mom is thinking.. she’s said that alot of me. I’m going to miss her but I thank her for letting me go and grow on my own. I definitely wanna go back to my mom whenever something happens… My mom always said, “If you let them go, they’ll fly right back to u”.

  26. Kelli says:

    Aren’t you just dying to have him run back into arms and hug your neck? and tell you allllll about allllllll the new things that happened today? Have a blast!
    now. I had to go put my face back on.

  27. An Iowa Mom says:

    Wow … you made the lump form first … then just flat out made me cry. I dealt (if you want to call it that) with sending my second son to kindergarten last year … but it was just as difficult this year sending them to 1st and 3rd. I still have two more to go and I wish I could say I think it will get easier with each child … but I know it won’t … it may actually get harder.
    Beautiful words to capture what you and what so many of us feel when we send “our lives” off to school to be independent little people.

  28. Redneck Diva says:

    I hope I don’t spell too horribly as I type this because the tears are preventing me from seeing the screen. This was a wonderful post.
    (Found you on OkieDoke – checking everyone out for the Awards you know!)

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