The anticipation was killing me - almost too much to bear. I tell myself that I just have to get past the first day of school and then it won't be so bad. So, today is the day, finally. The morning went off without a hitch or meltdown, and even Talia said "Can we go now??!!?". We got there early, saw some familiar faces, they played, we watched, and the whole time I'm sucking in the tears because I just don't want to cry, at least not there...in front of the kids...and other parents. But, my mom is sniffling so I have to block that out and try not to look at her emotional face. And, the star cut outs on the classroom window with my kids names on them...sniffle...lump in my throat. Smile. Be strong. It's a good thing. They cannot sense my pain and sadness because if they cry I will sob. Talia comes over and stands by us, sort of like she was checking up on our well-being. Then she says "You can go now!!!". She wants us to leave and here we are clinging onto every minute before we leave them. When it's time, we give a quick kiss goodbye and linger while they go into the classroom, take a seat on the floor, and intently listen to the smiling teacher. I turn to Jason and say "Let's go I can't take it anymore" and then let the pent up tears flow once I was in the safety of my car. And flow they did. Empty quiet house...more tears.
The day at home without them was surreal and odd. Doing some major cleaning helped (so therapeutic), then work got busy, and eventually it was time to go get them. Maybe I expected this "Yea mommy I have so much to tell you it was great we had so much fun and you'll never guess and did you know and I can't wait to come back tomorrow I LOVE SCHOOL SOOOO MUCH!!!!". Instead they looked a bit stunned, tired, hungry, and on the verge of tears. And, they didn't like school because of the mean kid in class and they hardly played at all and didn't learn a thing. No negative! But, as the afternoon progressed we got more details about nice kids in class, stuff they played with, their teacher had a nice smile, and what they learned (sign language for potty). The tears did spill over odd things, which I totally expected because they've held in their emotions all day long. And, the exhausted emotionally drained children are having trouble falling asleep (silly me for expecting them to crash out within seconds). It's been a long day.
I have to think that tomorrow will be a bit easier, and then better the next day, and the next day, but maybe I just shouldn't expect a thing. It is what it is. Most of us went through it and school became like second nature. We made great friends and figured out which ones we didn't like. We had great days and horrible days. The day could have been far worse and certainly way better, but today was today and at least I'll be a bit stronger tomorrow and I'll just have to deal with it, whatever it is, as it comes, because deep down I know that some day they will thrive.