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.