By: Annie Bennett
A little over two weeks ago, I sent my oldest daughter to kindergarten.
Since I was lucky enough to work part-time, I was able to spend a lot of time with her, and we both got pretty attached to each other. With her birthday in late July, she just made the cut off to attend kindergarten, so my husband and I struggled with the decision of whether to send her this year or keep her home another year. She is a great kid, a rule-follower and loves to learn. She is also shy, never in a hurry and tends to let people push in front of her.
But, since she loved preschool and was more than ready to move on, we decided to send her. While she was ready, I was not.
A couple of nights before the first day of school, we had her open house. Her teacher was very friendly, and her classroom was cute. We checked out the lunch room, gym and playground, and even met the principal (the boss of the school).
When the first day of school finally came, I started crying as soon as I snapped the first picture, and it all went downhill
from there. I kept telling her, “Mommy just got a bug in her eyes,” as the tears would fall. There were a lot of bugs out that morning!)
The one thing that made me feel so much better and kept me from completely losing my mind was the staff at her school. It was reassuring to know that she was going to be in good hands, with people who were excited to see her again. I know there are great teachers, principals and administrators all across the country, but I can’t imagine sending her off to school anywhere else but North Dakota. I loved growing up in North Dakota. For me, it is the perfect place to raise kids (and I have been all over the world). I loved attending a small elementary school in Bismarck, and am excited for her to make her own memories and form some wonderful relationships – just like I did. I remember how close I got with our lunch lady, Shirley. She was friendly, kind and truly wanted the students to have a great time when it was our turn to volunteer in the lunchroom. I am confident that my daughter will meet her own “Shirley” and remember her when she is my age.
It was wonderful to see her run out when the bell rang at the end of the first day, with a big smile on her face. She LOVED school, and couldn’t wait to go back the next day. It was all going so well until she came home last week and announced, “Guess what, Mom? I have a boyfriend!” Oh, goodness!