Family Magazine

A Short Post About the First Day of School

By Bloggerfather @bloggerfather
I want to raise independent kids. I want my kids to hold on to me when they need my hand, but I also want them to know that when the time comes, I expect them to let go, take a long look at the incredible world around them, and march forward, strong and self-contained, boldly taking on the adventure of life.
I just didn't expect it to happen to my girl before her third birthday.
On the first day of school, my wife, my daughter, and I navigated our way through groups of clinging toddlers and their parents. It was understandable. It was touching. It was normal. It was hard for the kids to see their parents abandon them at this unfamiliar location, and it was hard for the parents to overcome the guilt of abandonment.
And we weren't immune to that guilt. She was a baby! She needed us! Were we making a terrible mistake? Was it too soon? Was she going to be traumatized?
I looked at my wife and she looked at me. "We can still turn back," we told each other without saying a word. All we needed was a hint of desperation from our daughter, and we would have been back in the car in less than 60 seconds.
Our daughter, though, wasn't standing next to us. She wasn't holding on to (or hiding behind) our legs. She was moving from one table to another, from one teacher's lap to another. She was building Lego towers and pushing them down, singing songs, skipping, and introducing herself. When we said goodbye, she said, "Bye," without even lifting her head.
I want to raise independent kids, don’t get me wrong, and I want them to let go when they're ready to let go, but the thing is--I'm not sure I'm ready to let go just yet...


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