Recently, we have been riding the chaotic rollercoaster of the Kindergarten cries. If you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing it yet, let me be the first to tell you that it is the worst. It entails your sweet 5 year old begging to not go to school because, “I will miss you, Mommy.” Talk about breaking your heart.
As far as I know, it is pretty normal. Although extenuating circumstances can for sure make it worse, I do remember Maylie doing it briefly at this age. Both my niece and nephew experienced it, and even my mom recalls that she would actually leave school and walk back home to her mom when she was Reagan’s age. Can I just say, thankfully, our schools are not that easy to leave these days!
Regardless, these last couple of months have been pretty rough on both Reagan and I. Thankfully, it is not an every morning thing, but I have yet to pinpoint what brings it on.
Some mornings, she is up at the first alarm dressed, shoes on, masked up and ready to take on the day before my feet hit the floor. And others, well, I have to literally peel her little body out of bed.
And I always know by whether or not she is up and going just what kind of morning it is going to be. If she is cuddled up deep in the blankets, as if she is trying to hide away from the day, I know we are going to need some extra time and loving to get out the door.
Have you ever carried a 50-pound weight from one place to another? Now, add in trying to find arm holes in a shirt and getting squiggly feet to cooperate with putting socks on. All the while also carrying the guilt of, “but, Mommy, I miss you.”
Seriously, it takes everything in me to not just call in to work and report her absent from school and just take the entire day cuddling her. But, I know, all too well, that if I do that, then the next day and the day after, she is going to think that is an option. Her little mind will believe that if she just continues her actions, then Mommy will give in. And, unfortunately, baby girl, that is not the way that life works.
So, I hold her for a few minutes — sometimes still in jammies and sometimes with one leg in her pants and the other one flailing. Softly, I remind her of the previous night’s activities and the time we spent together. Then, I move onto that evening’s adventures and the time we will spend together.
Typically, I can swallow the lump in my throat of missing her too and remind her that we get to choose our attitudes and make the day what we want it to be. Every time, whether she is willingly listening or not, I add in a prayer to guide our thoughts, actions and day into a positive one. And some days, I bribe her with Sour Patch Kids for breakfast.
Because, look, I would be lying if I said that it didn’t get old. That I want to look her square in the eyes and say toughen up — this isn’t going to change! One can only carry on like this for so long!
But, I know that her sweet, innocent self is still trying to figure out this big world. And even half way through Kindergarten, the days are still long for a 5 year old. The excitement of going to school like sissy wore off long ago. And my baby girl is just longing for some extra time and attention from me.
And while sometimes it is completely overwhelming to do and say the same things over and over again, and I have about 97 things that I have to do in the morning to get out of the house for work, I know that the most important thing that I can do in those moments is just be there for her.
No, I am sure it won’t last forever, that one day missing mommy will become a thing of the past. And honestly, I can’t tell if that breaks my heart even worse.
So for now, I will just continue to get down on my girl’s level, scoop her up, dress her little body, pray over her and remind her just how much she means to me and how much I miss her little self as well.
Because these days of Kindergarten cries are long but, I’m not going to lie, I don’t know if there will ever again be a time when I am so loved and missed by her.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.