Tuesday, September 1, 2015

An open letter to my son's primary teacher

Dear Mrs. M,

You don’t know my son yet, but we have been talking about you all summer. He is bursting with excitement as he waits impatiently for the first day of school, and checks daily to make sure his brand-new backpack is still hanging in the hall closet. He talks about what you will teach him, and he has the sweetest smile when he practices raising his hand to answer questions around the dinner table.

You don’t know me yet either, Mrs. M, but I apologize in advance if I seem overly keen and wide-eyed (or anxious and unsure) as I get my footing as an elementary school parent. I just turned 32, but I still sometimes feel like I’m in school myself, masquerading as a grown-up. I will try to keep it together as I delight in signing permission slips and bringing in class snacks and chaperoning field trips.

When I clutch my son’s hand on Thursday morning and see the big yellow bus screech to a halt in front of the sidewalk, I’ll probably be crying. I’ll hug him tightly and take dozens of pictures of that dazzling, excited grin. I’ll kiss his palms like the mommy raccoon in The Kissing Hand and then release him to walk up those big black stairs — where he’ll sit in a seat without a five-point harness or even a seatbelt. I’ll feel like a part of my body is being carted away on that bus, because it is.

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene

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