Working On Warm And Fuzzy

Dear Cassidy,

Well, we have had a rough couple of weeks. You have started first grade and the transition has been less than smooth. I honestly was caught off guard and I thought that this year would start off without a hitch. So much for mom knowing everything! As I write this today, I am celebrating two days in a row of you going to school without crying. For me this is a great celebration because your tears hurt me more than you could know.

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The first two days of school went great and you were filled with excitement and curiosity for all of the new things that you would do in first grade. Your enthusiasm dwindled by the third day and the bus stop was a tearful event. You didn’t even want to get on the bus.

While I was worried, maybe I brushed your tears off too easily as I pushed you forward onto the bus. “You will be fine. You’ll have a great day!” I waved to your tear filled eyes as you looked out the bus window and drove away. I may have seemed tough, but the whole time my heart was breaking. Your tears are my kryptonite. I’m sure I’ll have to explain that to you since you are too young to know what kryptonite is.

By the time you came home from school you were already doing better. It was like the morning never happened. You were excited and filled with energy from the awesome day you had. My fears subsided and I thought nothing more about our tearful morning…. until the next morning.

Once again you did not want to go to school, only this time you fought with me to leave the house at all. I tried to convince you of how much fun you would miss and all of you friends would be sad if you weren’t there. It was just no use. I raised my voice in frustration and demanded you to settle and get ready to leave.  Eventually, you calmed enough to get to the bus stop.

The second the bus pulled up, the tears started again. This time a little more than yesterday. I gave you extra hugs and kisses and tried to settle you before getting on the bus, but once again I pushed you forward onto the bus and then I waved as your eyes were filled with tears and my heart was filled with hurt.

My walk home from the bus stop was a walk of shame. I thought about the moms that would have petted their baby’s head and spoke softly to them. “It’s ok, tell me what is wrong.” They would have gone on and knelt down to sooth their crying child and if they couldn’t they wouldn’t force the child to get on the bus anyway. I felt judged by the other moms as I pushed you forward even though you were so sad.

As I walked back, I replayed my words and what I could have or should have done differently. Why am I not one of those warm and fuzzy moms? I knew by the time that you got to school that you would be fine, but why wasn’t I mushy and sweet to you anyway?

I made it home and could have cried myself. I feel terrible sending you away feeling sad. I hate that I can’t fix things and this was a situation that I couldn’t fix. It would take time for you to adjust to a new schedule and I couldn’t rush it. Frustrating!

The weekend came and you seemed like you were doing better. Like I said, by the time you got off the bus in the afternoon, you were happy and excited. It was on Saturday driving in the car that really broke my heart. You began to beg me not to send you back to school on Monday. It was two days away and already you were fretting. Now this I can’t take.

Both your dad and I were worried that something had happened that you weren’t telling us. This was just not like you.  I may have hid my concern from you, but you really had us worried. It was hard for either of us to believe that this behavior was just because of a transition into a new grade and new schedule. It had to be more.

You honestly had me thinking if your dad and I had made the wrong choice by starting you in school when we did. We certainly could have waited another year but you just seemed ready. Until September third of this year, I was convinced that you were ready. Now you have left me worried and wondering if it would have been best to wait one more year.

Monday came and yet another horrible bus stop experience. This time you got on the bus crying and then ran back off. I hugged you once more and then again sent you off sternly. I hung my head low as I walked home and then emailed your teacher once again. I even called the school to make sure that you were better when you had arrived.

I must say, you really have put my  heart through the ringer these past couple of weeks. I guess this is a lesson for myself. I just assumed that you would go into this year as ready as ever. I figured that you are so amazing that nothing would bother you. You don’t need to worry about transitions, you are invincible!

I was wrong. You are sensitive and you are still a little girl. You may act like six going on twenty six, but you are still just six. I forget that sometimes. I expect so much from you and probably too much sometimes. I’m a tough mom and I’m not warm and fuzzy, and sometimes warm and fuzzy is nice.

I am glad that you are doing better now. Two days of getting on the bus with smiles is great! I guess you just needed to adjust… Now it’s my turn. I need to adjust sometimes also. Tough mom works sometimes but so does warm and fuzzy. Who knows, maybe you would have transitioned a little easier if I was just a little softer.

So while you are learning, I am also. Just wanted to let you know that I am not a perfect mom but I am trying. I love you!

Love, Mommy


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