My beloved daughter, Emmanuelle, is officially in kindergarten.
Her first day wasn’t as bad, for her! hahah. When asked how her day went, she excitedly recounted fun stories. When asked if she cried, she nonchalantly responded, no.
This was not the response the night before her 1st day, when she cried before going to bed, asking why moms weren’t allowed to come with their sweethearts. After a tiresome spur of the moment trip to Great Adventure that day, to celebrate her last day of scholastic freedom, I used a very simple metaphor to ease her feelings of emotional attachment.
I explained that going to school is like going on a big ride in Great Adventure. I’d be there to bring her to the line, prepare her for the ride, put her seatbelt on, and make sure she’s safely secure. Then I’d wait for her outside of the gates, as she would enjoy the thrill of the ride, by herself. And afterward, at the end of the ride, I would be waiting, smile on my face, pride in my heart, for her. School is that exciting ride for her. And after I explained it to her, she quieted down, I guess because she could still remember the excitement, as well as the assurance, that she felt during that day.
So that morning, we quickly prepared her. Perze took the day off to see his eldest daughter to school, AND to be there for me when I couldn’t take the reality of time. I really love him so much for giving me what I need the most…So at the bus stop, being the first ones there, I had to stop internalizing what that day really meant, in fear that I would cry, and then creating a snowball effect that would then make Emma fear leaving.
She boarded the bus with such ease, with a huge smile looking through her tinted window. After I said goodbye, at the house, I didn’t really feel like doing anything, crying just a few tears, I went about my day, and even slept from the fatigue and excitement of the day before. I just kept wondering if she was sad, or if she missed me, or if she was scared. I just wanted to protect her.
But as we walked back to the bus stop, waiting for her to come back, Perze received a phone call. His face beamed with such pure joy; you should have seen it. Emma had called him to tell him she was on the bus. He was so proud of her, with this huge smile on his face, in amazement of how much of a big girl she was. Unfortunately, she missed her stop and Perze had to turn into super dad, sprinting quickly to the next bus stop to retrieve Emma.
She told us so many stories, about being teased, about being protected, about a pretty teacher, about a sleeping boy, about the bus ride, about her teacher reading the card we inserted into her lunch bag, etc. In a nutshell, she loved school.
In a nutshell, I also owe Perze a Red Lobster dinner for losing our bet. I thought she’d cry in school, but to my surprise, she definitely has a strong heart. I don’t really credit it to all the preparation. I know deep down, it was because we prayed so much for Emma as she attended her first day. I know people in church and in our family prayed for her as well. That morning, the first thing I did to prepare was to be on my knees. And the last thing Perze did before she left the house was to pray for her. Thank you Lord for going before her. Deut.31:8
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”