As we made the short drive from our home to school, I asked my oldest how he was feeling.
“Are you excited for your first day of kindergarten?”
“Well, I’m a lot excited and a little nervous.”
It was true. I’d spent 10 minutes trying to get him to stand still for the annual first-day-of-school picture. He was wearing his favorite shirt with his brand-spanking-new backpack and lunch box. He looked so…. kindergarten.. and I desperately wanted to capture the moment but I could barely get him to stand still. Riding in the car, all I could think about was if he was ready, but deep down I knew he was.
“That’s okay, baby. Anytime we start something new, it’s normal to feel a lot excited and a little nervous but you’re going to have a great first day.”
Pulling into the school parking lot, he couldn’t wait to get out of the car. Hand in hand, we made our way to the gymnasium where his teacher was waiting. Upon seeing her, I got a very quick, “bye mom,” and he ran to meet her. I let out a huge sigh of relief and managed to make it back to my van without any tears.
I picked him up that afternoon and listened as he told me everything that happened. He couldn’t wait to go back the next day and just like that, the first day wasn’t as scary (for either of us) once it came and went.
Now, it’s mom’s turn to have the first-day nerves.
Tomorrow, I will walk into my new job. It’s my first job since moving to Milwaukee and having our second child. It’s also the first job in the new career that I worked so hard towards. On paper, I’m prepared. Everyone’s clothes are picked out, bags are packed, lunches are made, the house clean, the laundry done.
Inside, I feel less prepared. I keep running over my list, checking to make sure I haven’t forgotten something important. No matter how many times I check, everything is done so I take a deep breath and realize that it’s all in my head.
Tomorrow will be the first time that I become a working mom of two kids. It’s the first time, in a very long time, that I’ll be outside of the house for most of the day. Part of me wonders if the house will fall apart without me in it. In spite of it all, I know that this is a good step for me, and I’m excited to see what good comes from it.
In the midst of the first day nerves, I’m reminding myself what I told my son that day. It’s normal to feel excited and nervous. This is a new season and even though I’m feeling a little uncertain, I’m going to take on the day just like my son did on his first day. I’ll walk in with confidence… confidence that says I’m ready and I can do this.