The Kindergarten Tears

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Bus.
source: cinderellasg

So this is what it took to melt my frozen heart.

I still hadn’t boo-hooed about Libbie going to kindergarten as of yesterday morning. So far, so good. She loves being busy all day, although she is both exhausted and needs to run around like a crazy person when she gets home. Even in this exhaustion, she wasn’t falling asleep in the van on the way home.

I decided yesterday morning that I would let her ride the bus in the afternoons. For a variety of factors, this really works best for our family. Her school, although public, is a lottery/specialized type school, and it is a 20-minute drive in no traffic – and at that time of day, there is almost always traffic on the interstate I have to drive to get there. Joshua is often napping around the time we needed to leave. It seemed silly to drive all the way there (which some days was taking 45 minutes because of traffic), sit in the car ride line for another 20 minutes or more, and have to use the gas, wake up the baby from his nap, etc, just to avoid putting Libbie on a big scary school bus.

So yesterday morning I talked to her teacher and we worked it out. The bus was set to arrive at the stop at 4:45, according to the schedule.

All day I felt on the brink of tears as I thought about my baby girl getting on the bus. Why? Why is it such a big deal now? There were days when everyone rode the bus; and if they didn’t, they walked to school, probably sans parents. Mostly I felt torn at the decision: was I being selfish? Were my reasons valid?

So around 4:15 I got in my car, planning to go pick up a prescription before I headed to the bus stop. And at 4:20, before I even got off campus, her bus driver called me. They were there, he said. He couldn’t let a kindergartner off unless I was there. So where was I?

Um, the schedule said 4:45. But he said no one had shown up for the stop prior to Libbie’s, so they had come straight from the school. And I wasn’t there to get my baby on the first day she rode the bus.

Yep, that is when the bawling happened.

It feels like there are so many things I am supposed to know without being told. As a major firstborn rule-follower, this has been hard for me! Like my daughter, I want things outlined for me in pen, so I know exactly what I am supposed to be doing and can do it the right way. For both of us … this may not always happen. We both might feel a little bit lost for awhile.

I’m just hoping we can make it through the learning curve without some major meltdowns.

11 thoughts on “The Kindergarten Tears

  1. Kudos to the system, though! Thank goodness for a rule that won’t let the child off without a parent, and for a driver equipped with a phone to be able to give you a call. I wouldn’t have been there 25 minutes early, either, so don’t beat yourself up about it!

    • I am not sure if it’s an everyday kind of rule or a kindergartner rule or what, but I am thankful that he didn’t leave her sitting there for 20 minutes waiting on me!

  2. This whole time line feels way off to me… one omitted stop resulted in a half hour difference in arrival? Whaaa…. ? I would definitely ask for clarification on that, because, if there’s going to be that big a range, that’s something really important for you to know!! I totally would have cried, too, so I am so, so sorry that you that experience on the first day! I’ve missed my kids’ bus being here twice so far over the years– the first time, I got caught in a horrible traffic snag due to an accident and didn’t make it home from errands. I was a WRECK, but the driver was totally calm and fine and, as a result, my child wasn’t upset either. The second was this past summer when I just totally lost track of time and didn’t get out there– TOTALLY my fault, and the driver was still absolutely chill. I have a feeling they’re no strangers to missing parents. 🙂 (And, in your case, it was in NO way your fault!)

    • I was worried Libbie would be bawling, too, but she was just fine. One of her pals was on the bus (they were in dance together for 1 1/2 years) and they were having a blast. I think I verified with the driver when I need to be there just in case (4:20) and it sounds like most days they will be there before 4:45. Sounds like 4:45 is the LATEST they would be there (barring extremely heavy traffic). But that’s all kind of confusing for mama …

  3. Oh my goodness I would have cried too… it’s the “little” things that always throw me over the edge! Plus it’s the logistics (bus stops, timing, etc.) that usually worry me more than the actuality (the actual bus riding itself!)

  4. Ooohhhh!!! I would’ve cried too!!! & have!!! With all 3 girls Jessie!! There WILL be meltdowns…there will b breakdowns on communication!! It happens…unfortanetly for myself that is one of my biggest fears..kids not being where they said they would be OR where I was told they would be. On the other hand.. You will BOTH grow in this experience, & while it will be painful(mostly for YOU I have come to realize) the experiences DO make us stronger & wiser. BELIEVE me, got a 17, 14 & 12 yr old girls… It’s not easier BUT you learn & change for the better.

    • Yep, you said it! One of my most scary moments was a lack of communication with my parents. I think I was in middle school, even! I thought they were going to take me home from something and they thought I was going to ride the bus, and I was at a school in another county or something. Yikes!

  5. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like they’re missing out on information that everybody else knows instinctively. When we went to Kindergarten orientation, I felt like I was the only person who had questions about what my child was going to be doing all day. Did everybody else already know how it went?

    I’m used to being able to talk to his teacher every day (in preschool), so it’s been a big adjustment for me to just get all my information from my kiddo. That said, our teacher is great with email. She gets back to me really quickly, if I truly need something, but I also hate to take up her time when she has 18 other kids to worry about.

    • I could have written pretty much the exact same thing there. WHY? Why am I so lost?? I was the one asking at orientation, “When does it change from before-care to OK to drop-off?” How does everyone else know this? I will be happy to follow each and every rule, but I have to know what they are!! So much easier in pre-school.

  6. My son’s school had “early out” on Friday afternoons- 50 minutes earlier than usual. It was a small community & very informal, so everyone just knew- no one thought to tell me about it. The teacher had to call me to come get him. The bad thing was that wasn’t the only time I forgot in the 3 years he was in school there!

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