Please Don’t Tell “That Story” to Your Teacher

Note: This post is the third in our six-part “Back to School” series. Join us for more from this series on Friday!

Tomorrow, my oldest child begins kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN, people. Almost six years ago, I entered this scary world of mommy-hood and the idea that someday my daughter would go to kindergarten seemed like a distant dream. Back then, I thought I had endless days of snuggles and board book-reading marathons … that she would toddle down the steps at the local park while jabbering away forever. Surely she would never actually grow old enough to go to KINDERGARTEN. But here I sit, with tears streaming down my face as I realize that tomorrow, she will give me a hug, smile her happy smile, walk into her classroom and never look back. Tomorrow, my life changes forever.

first day of preschool

First day of pre-school last year

I need some reassurance from you fellow moms. I need more than an arm to wrap around my shoulders as I walk back to our car with just two kids holding my hand. I need an onslaught of support that will let me know that I will be okay, my daughter will be okay, and that my Kleenex supply will last through the first day of school.

Can I be honest with you? There is something even more concerning that is on my mind. Yes, I’m going to cry my eyes out (probably) and yes, I will feel all kinds of sentimental emotions tomorrow (for certain). But as I send my daughter off to kindergarten, I’m worried about something much bigger. You see, I used to BE a teacher. I used to be that smiling face that welcomed kids into the classroom on their first day of school. I reassured parents that their children would indeed be safe at school.

I also used to sit and listen to stories that I knew would make parents drop dead from embarrassment. Oh, the things children will tell their teachers! My favorite one came from a kindergartner who brought 100 circular make-up discs on the 100th day of school. He announced to his teacher that his mommy “uses them for breast pads in her bra because sometimes she leaks milk from feeding my little brother.”

Then there was the time I inadvertently asked a question in Spanish that lead one 6th grade boy to think it was an appropriate time to tell me all about how his uncle smokes weed. He was quick to add that his mother disapproved but his father thought it was okay.

So as I send my daughter to school tomorrow, I think I just need reassurance that my daughter’s teacher won’t call Child Protective Services on us. Okay, maybe that’s being a bit dramatic, but am I the only one worried that her child will say something mildly embarrassing to her teacher? What if she tells her teacher that her mom sometimes blasts Ricky Martin (and {gasp} occasionally a wee bit of Pit Bull) while dancing full throttle in the living room wearing things only allowed at Walmart (at 2 a.m)? Or what about those times when my husband plays a game called “pillow gauntlet” in which the kids run from one side of the basement to the other while trying to avoid their Dad’s massive pillow that is sure to knock them over? I can picture it now: “Teacher, my dad beats us with pillows and tries to knock us down.”

Oh, what a new world I am entering tomorrow! I am placing my daughter in the hands of a very sweet and bubbly young kindergarten teacher. She will be surrounded by children that I have never met, all day, for five days each week. She will eat lunch at school. She will interact with a music teacher, an art teacher and a P.E. teacher, a librarian, a principal and a school nurse. None of them know my daughter like I do. To them she is a valued student, but in essence, she is really just another child like any other. She may get picked on. She may do the picking! (I hope not.) Tomorrow is a day when I let go of my fears and anxieties and trust the well-trained professionals who are excited and ready to welcome a new batch of learners to their school. These children are our future, and I for one am excited to see what they become as a result of a great education here in Kansas City. For now, I’m excited about the year ahead.

Who else is sending their first child to kindergarten this week? What are you most sad/nervous about?

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One Response to Please Don’t Tell “That Story” to Your Teacher

  1. Emily Burneson August 14, 2013 at 9:38 am #

    Your daughter will do great! She will share with others all her sunshine and all the good things that you taught her.

    Remember that at our school your are welcome and even encouraged to have lunch with your kiddo. We try to head up there once a week. It’s a great time to meet their classmates and learn about their day.