Why I Won’t Cry When You Start Kindergarten

When kids face big transitions, I feel like the odd mama out, as the only one who stays dry-eyed. Here's why I won't cry when my baby starts K this week.

August 2017

Dear Essie,

The day you’ve been waiting for since at least last fall is finally here.

When kids face big transitions, I feel like the odd mama out, as the only one who stays dry-eyed. Here's why I won't cry when my baby starts K this week.

It’s time for you to climb onto that big yellow school bus with your sister and start kindergarten. And when you do, I won’t cry, any more than you will.

Part of me is sorry that you can only spend the morning there. I know how much you LOVE school, and how much you can’t wait to learn everything under the sun.

It WILL be fun, and you WILL learn things you don’t know. Just remember that your classmates will be learning so many new things, too. You may not all have the same things to learn; sometimes you may need to catch up to them, and sometimes they may need to catch up to you.

Just because YOU’RE excited to take this step, doesn’t mean all of them are. Some of them may be away from home for the first time. I hope you can help them feel more comfortable in the place you already consider your second home.

Some of them may be sad to leave their families behind. I hope you can reach out to them and be a friend, the kind of friend you’d like them to be to you.

You’re a kind person with a big heart.

You’re also a very hard worker. Some things will come more easily to you than to your classmates. In other areas, you may struggle the most.

That’s OK. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. And you’re lucky to be at a school that builds its schedule around the idea of “W.I.N.” – making sure each child gets “What I Need” to succeed.

You will make lots of new friends at your new school. Always remember that in order to have a friend, you have to BE a friend first.

And the friends you make in the first few weeks of your new school will not all be your friends several years from now, when you’re ready to leave this school building for junior high. Some will; some won’t. And that’s OK.

There will be tears. Eventually, even for you too.

Your tears will come later than your classmates’. Some of them will cry these first few weeks. As will many of their mamas. Heading off to kindergarten is a huge step. For many of them, it’s an overwhelming one.

Your tears will come later on, in the years to come. When life isn’t fair (as it often isn’t). When you lose a friend. Or when you lose your way for a bit. And especially when you face a challenge you just don’t know how to get past.

When those tears come, your dad and your big sister and I will all be there for you, to give you hugs and remind you of how much we love you, and that we’re always here for you.

But in case you wonder

Why I won’t cry

when you get on that big yellow school bus this week, it’s for the same reason I know YOU won’t cry: How could I?

You are SO excited and ready for this step. We’ve spent the first five years of your life helping to get you ready for this day. So have your preschool teachers and classmates, even though none of them will continue on to K with you.

This is where you are supposed to be at this point in your young life, and you are so happy to walk bravely forth into this big, new world. You can’t wait to meet your new teacher and all your new friends.

When you are so happy, how could I be sad? You’re doing what we brought you into this world to do: grow up, and eventually fly a little further away from us, as you continue to blossom into the wonderful and unique person God created you to be.

Watching you grow into that beautiful soul is a joy to my heart, and it makes me smile to see you becoming the person you’re supposed to be.

THAT, my dear Essie, is why I might be the only dry-eyed mama around when the school bus rolls away with all the new kindergarteners this week.

I won’t cry, because YOU will be so very happy and excited. And I will be happy and excited for you, watching you learn and stretch and grow a little more into your own each day.

With all my love, and the dryest eyes and biggest grin around,


When kids face big transitions, I feel like the odd mama out, as the only one who stays dry-eyed. Here's why I won't cry when my baby starts K this week.


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