I Survived My Son's First Day of Kindergarten.

by Risa Green


When I was in seventh grade, I had a drawer full of tee-shirts that advertised to the world all of the various horrors that I somehow managed to survive over the course of my brief, suburban, upper-middle class existence. For example, I Survived Sandy Run Middle School. I Survived Skull Mountain at Great Adventure. I Survived Camp Kweebec 1985. I also Survived Brett Rosenthal’s Bar Mitzvah. Sadly, I don’t own the tee-shirts anymore (not that they would fit over my mom gut even if I did), but I’d still like to add one to the list: I Survived My Son’s First Week of Kindergarten.


Unlike camp, middle school, a rollercoaster and a fancy party at the Four Seasons, my son’s first week of kindergarten actually felt like something I might not survive, at least from an emotional point of view. And it’s not like I didn’t try to prepare for it. I had the kid prepped within an inch of his life. He spent a week during the summer going to “kindergarten camp,” so he already knew his teachers. I had set up a zillion and one playdates with his new classmates in the weeks before school started, so he already knew most of the boys in his class. We picked out a brand new Yoda backpack and lunchbox, and I got him a first day of school bribe – I mean present - that he knew would be waiting at home for him at the end of the day. We talked about feeling nervous and how to make new friends, and I spent an hour on the phone with his teacher, letting her know all about his anxiety and how we’ve been dealing with it. And still… for all of my preparation, I was like a doctor fresh out of med school being asked to perform complex surgery on my very first day on the job. In other words, I was totally unprepared.


Well I survived Kindergarten...it was third grade that is the issue. My daughter started a new school for the right reasons but is really missing her friends. She actually used the word "lonely" to describe how she felt. My heart was breaking for her. Now that we are in week five, we are somewhat better but it never feels good to see our kids struggle. Thanks for the article.


Hang in there Risa! Going through a somewhat similar experience. My daughter breezed through kindergarten but my son is far more tentative and somewhat anxious about the experience. Can't imagine trying to do a book tour through it all though! I guess we all muster through.