He gave me a half smile and when I asked if he was ready for breakfast he said, “Not yet, we need to keep laying here a little longer.” I was fine with that. More than fine. His tiny, 5-year-old arms wrapped around my neck and I was more than fine holding this monumental day off just a little bit longer.
The moments ticked by rapidly as we ate breakfast, called his dad, packed a snack and his backpack. My anxiety started settling in as I realized this was likely my one and only time to send a child of mine off to their first day of kindergarten. I wasn’t doing it good enough. It wasn’t everything I had dreamed it would be. How could I be this unprepared?
Would his teacher like him? Would he make friends? Would he go without a fuss? Did I pack enough food in his snack? Would he let his teacher know that he had to use the bathroom in time to make it to the bathroom in time?
We went early so he could have some playtime in the school yard and then, all too soon, the teacher called the class in. He was so hesitant, running back to make sure I was still there, but so brave and curious too as he finally walked into his new classroom.
My angst held on to me as I came home and updated Max’s dad on the successful drop-off with a photo to show how cute he looked holding the sign that I hastily scribbled before we walked out the door. And then, with one simple observation from my ex, I released the nervous worries, let go of my I-should-have-done-more/could-have-been-more-prepared self-condemnation and I had a laughing fit.
“His pants are undone!”
No matter how hard I try to make life perfect for my kid, I am going to mess it up. I am forgetful and unorganized and overwhelmed. I am going to mess things up for him big time, many times.
I hope that someday Max will look back at this picture with me and laugh as hard as I did today when I realized that I sent him to school with his jeans completely undone and wide open. I’ll never know how they managed to stay up all day long but apparently he was saved the embarrassment of his pants falling down on the first day of school–no thanks to mom.