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News from the Nest: First day of kindergarten moment to be proud of

My son is starting kindergarten this year. Everyone tells me to enjoy this time because it goes so fast. I feel like it already has up to this point. My son and daughter are the oldest kids on both sides of our families. I look at my nieces and nephews who are just babies and young toddlers. Then I see how old my son is getting and I almost lose my breath.

I'm not one bit scared for my son starting school. He has a very outgoing and likeable personality, makes friends easily and is pretty confident in himself. Intellectually, his preschool-daycare combo prepared him for kindergarten. Still, I was nervous for his assessments. I felt that if he didn't do well it would be my fault, my lack of teaching at home, me letting him down if he wasn't fully prepared. Of course he did great.

Prior to starting he said he may be shy for the first few days. I told him that was fine and the other kids might be also, reminding him that this was new to all of them. As we waited in the halls for his kindergarten assessment numerous first grade classes walked by and he saw several friends from daycare, hockey and Sunday School. The reassurance on his face that he was going to be fine was also a relief for me.

I know on the first day he was nervous. But after we took the cheesy picture of him in front of the school doors, and yes I will be doing that every year until he graduates, he marched in with a smile on his face. We waited in the hallway with other parents and their anxious kindergarteners, some crying, some looking frightened, others just quiet, all showing nervousness in their own way.

When my son is nervous he gets really hyper, not in a mean way, just can't really stand still or stop talking, probably similar to both of his parents really. I kept telling him to take a deep breath and relax, but the longer we had to wait to go into his room, the more the nerves were building. Can you imagine the thoughts running through the shy kids watching him? Probably made them even more scared than they already were!

When the doors finally opened (note to self do not show up 20 minutes early for the first day of class) we headed into the room. As we gave our son hugs, kisses and said our "I love yous" he calmed down, thankfully. We said goodbye and he took a seat at his desk. His shoulders relaxed, his breathing deepened and when he turned to give us a big thumbs up (for one last picture of course) a tear stung my eye. I wasn't sad. I wasn't scare. I wasn't even nervous for him. Just proud, so proud. Thinking, "This is what life's all about."