The First Day of Kindergarten: Tears of Rejection and Middle Age

Zoey started kindergarten today. Which makes me the parent of a kindergartener. Which makes me old. Kind of like a real adult. Zoey slept in her school clothes last night so she would be “ready!!!!!!” She eagerly bounded out of bed this morning and the phrase, “Sure! I can do that right now, Mommy!” was joyfully heard during the morning routine. For the first and last time, I’m sure. We left two minutes early. (Also for the first and last time.)

Zoey let go of my hand before we entered the building. Zoey found her cubby and took us to her classroom.  Then . . . she dismissed us. As in, “Mom. Dad. You can go now.” So we kissed her goodbye and slunk away.  We walked past kids who wanted last, last hugs. Past kids with tears in their eyes. And past more than one leg clinger. You know, past other kids who care about their parents.

Ha ha! SUCKERS!!!! That was us last year – we had the crier/clinger combo. PAINFUL. But apparently this year, our child no longer loves us. Because we just jauntily walked away. It was like we haven’t spent 5 years KEEPING HER ALIVE. And, you know, happy blah blah blah. Yes, I can blink away tears of rejection and walk at the same time. I have that kind of super power.

I came home and crashed. Yup, my first act as a parent of a kindergartener was to nap. I’ve had this horrible foot pain lately — like I can barely walk by early evening because it hurts to put pressure on the bottoms of my feet. I saw my doctor last week and she unceremoniously diagnosed me with plantar fasciitis. “So, what causes that?” I asked. She looked me dead in the eyes and said, “Middle age.” While I simultaneously broke eye contact, choked on my own spit, and tried not to punch her in the face, she added, “Oh, and walking too much in bad shoes. Or just walking.”

Great. So now I’m a middle-aged, kindergarten parent who is unable to curb her endless hours of isolation and loneliness by walking. What will I do to fill the time? Hmmmm.

Right now I have to go back to school to pick up my ungrateful daughter. The first day is a half day. Total rip off. I wonder if I’ll get a hug like all the other parents . . . ? The moms who put their arms out wide and their impeccably dressed kid comes running straight to them with a squeal of delight.

Eh. My kid slept in her clothes last night so the impeccably dressed part is out. But even if I have to chase my kid, I’m going to get a hug. And the squeal of delight may come from me. But whatever. Also, I’ll probably be senile soon. Because MIDDLE AGE.  But I hear senility lessens the  pain of rejection.



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