She’s ready, but am I?

My oldest. Her 5th birthday is this weekend. She starts kindergarten tomorrow. I know she’s smart, well-adjusted and thrives in school. So, why, on the eve of the first day of school, am I the one in tears? I swore this past weekend I was ready. I have two daughters and they have the most incredible bond; you know, the love-hate relationship they’ll hopefully share their whole lives. Fighting over the same toy and bossing each other around one minute and chasing each other and giggling the next. They’re my world, I love them more than words can express. I enjoy the occasional date night with my husband, girls weekends with friends (just this past week), it’s not like I don’t need a break sometimes and take it. So, tonight, why do I sit here, anxious? Worried about what could go wrong? Will she get lost in the shuffle off the bus? Will her teacher get her to her classroom? What if she doesn’t get on the right bus to come home? She wanders away from me in a store sometimes, what if that happens at school? What if she’s sad?

I composed myself all day. Not one tear while I took her to the school’s meet’n greet this afternoon. I got this. I’m fine. So, why, as I tucked her in for bed, does the anxiety smack me in the face? Is it like when she first started preschool 2 years ago? I’d pick her up and she exploded on me. Like an overtired, angry teenager. I talked to the teacher about it, and she explained that my daughter was a great student, but that kids are often exhausted and act out on the ones they trust the most. Maybe I had to put on my brave hat today.

I know I need to be strong for my daughter and not project my insecurities on her. I have all the confidence in her. I guess it’s just hard to let go, just a little. Call me overprotective or label me a helicopter parent (which I’m not) but I’m going to call it growing pains. I know I want to drive her and pick her up, but I know she needs to take the bus and be a big girl. She needs to spread her wings, just a little, and I need to let her. So, I’m taking a few deep breaths, having a glass (or 2) of wine, and will probably be working out a little more than usual this week.