Screaming girls ruin everything.

The summer before my first born son started kindergarten was one of the most emotional times in all of my life.
I cried the entire summer. And when I say that I cried the entire summer, I mean that I literally cried the entire summer. Sometimes I’d cry a little, sometimes I’d cry uncontrollably (think Sally Fields in Steel Magnolias.)
But, every single day, I cried.
I’d start off the day fine, and then I’d think about him not being home with me every day, I’d think about holding his little hand and walking him up to the door of his classroom with people he didn’t know. I’d think about how much it would hurt to not hear his little voice talking to me all morning long. I’d think about going to run errands and only having one little boy to buckle into a car seat.
Oh, the pain!
I’d call friends and cry to them. “I just feel like I didn’t do enough with him while he was home with me and now, he’s going to go to school for the rest of his little life and I’ll never get this time back with him and WHY DIDN’T I CHERISH EVERY MINUTE?!”
The day came and it was as bad, if not worse, than I thought it would be.
As we drove to his school, I remember looking at my son sitting in the back seat. His hair was combed perfectly, his backpack sitting in his lap. I could tell by the look on his face that he was nervous, but he was trying extra hard to be a “Big Boy” and not cry.
I wanted to turn the car around and take my little man back home. I couldn’t bear the thought of not having His Sweetness at home with me all day long.
When we pulled up to the school, I forced a big smile to put him at ease.
We walked up the walkway to his classroom hand in hand as we talked about how exciting this was going to be. “You’re going to learn so many things! And make friends! And paint! And have recess!”
It’s been 9 years since that day and I remember the moment in which I had to let go of his little hand to kiss him goodbye as if it happened 5 minutes ago.
Letting go wasn’t easy.
Letting go hurt.
Fast forward to this summer—that same little kindergartner is now about to enter the world of High School.
I’ve been waiting all summer long to experience that same flood of emotions that I felt the year that he started kindergarten.
I’ve waited for the tears to start falling because my little boy is all grown up now and where did that adorable baby who used to sit on my lap and giggle at the faces I’d make go? And why have the years passed so fast? And OH MY GOD, only 4 more years until he graduates and begins a life of his own.
But the tears never came.
Then, this morning, I had to drive him to his freshman orientation.
On the way there, I asked him if he was nervous.
“No.” He answered.
Ah, teenage boys and their one word responses.
“Did you go to the bathroom before we left?” I asked.
“Well, if you need to go to the bathroom while you’re there, just raise your hand and ask someone…”
The look on his face made me stop mid sentence. He was seriously annoyed with me. Like, “Mom, I’m not a baby anymore, you don’t have to ask me if I went potty before I left the house.”
And THAT is when it hit me. My baby is going to high school. He’s not a little boy anymore. He’s a young man and he’s GOING TO FREAKING HIGH SCHOOL.”
I could feel the lump forming in my throat.
I could feel the tears start to form in my eyes.
I could feel my stomach began to twist in knots.
I fought back the tears, if only to spare my son the humiliation of his mother sobbing as she walked him to the gym.
It was really hard to keep from losing it as we were walking to the gym. As we approached the door, I thought “this is it, this is the moment you used to dream about. The moment where your first born son started high school– except in your dream, you were the Hot Mom with smoking abs and not the Overweight Over emotional freak of a mother…”
And the tears became harder to fight and that lump in my throat started to hurt and I was just about to lose it when….
I noticed a bunch of cheerleader type girls lined up in two rows waiting to greet my son as he walked in the gym. I said goodbye and as he started to walk through the door, the girls started clapping and cheering and screaming. Like “OMIGOD WELCOME TO UR HIGH SCHOOLZ WE R SO HAPPY UR HERE WOOOT GO FRESHMAN!!.”
Now, if you knew my son, you’d know that he gets nervous when any sort of attention is focused on him. So, imagine the look of horror on his face when he realized he had to walk through that screaming, overly excited line of girls while every one was looking on as he made his way through the gym.
Suddenly, the sadness that I had felt in my soul as I watched my son enter a whole new chapter in his life was replaced with uncontrollable laughter—the kind of laughter that hurts, the kind of laughter that makes you cry.
I always imagined that I’d shed tears when my son started high school, I just never thought they would be tears of laughter because some dumbass thought it was a good idea to make nervous, unsure teenagers feel TOTALLY AWKWARD by having a bunch of girls clapping and cheering for them as they made their way into a gym full of people they didn’t know.
Hey, at least I can tell people that “yes, I cried when my son started high school.”

49 thoughts on “Screaming girls ruin everything.

  1. Susie Sunshine

    My first baby be starting high school this year too! We can’t sit together and hold hands and give the eye to the cheerleaders waving and shakin’ their stuff in front of our innocent boys because of regional differences, but I’m be holding your hand in my heart, sunshine.

  2. Ryan

    Oh, I remember the first day of Kindergarten . . . I just sent mine to her last first day of elementary school, as she starts middle school next year. I have to admit, I didn’t shed any tears . . . maybe if she was nice like your son, and pleasant to be around, I would have, but instead she is a raging body of hormones who does nothing but scream and yell and have an attitude! Seriously, the darling child cannot have a conversation without attitude . . .”What would you like in your lunch tomorrow?” . . . “WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHAT DO I WANT IN MY LUNCH? SHOULDN’T YOU ALREADY KNOW?” Well, anyway, I guess this isn’t my blog, so I’ll leave the bitchig and complaining to my own site . . . Best of luck to you and your son on his new adventure in life. Have a great day!!

  3. Liana

    Can I just say, that was a great read and totally had me grinning by the end. Cheerleaders! Welcoming the new freshmen! Sheesh, what a funny image! I’m laughing right along with you (and sharing your pride for your son starting high school! Such a huge step!). 🙂

  4. Amy the Mom

    Heehee….oh, I thought I was the only one who still got upset about the entrance to high school. I can’t stand how much he’s grown the last few months. One of my friends took her oldest to college yesterday, and as I consoled her, I thought, “I will certainly need to be tranquilized the entire summer preceeding Alex’s departure.”

  5. lar

    That mental picture made me cry with laughter, too–and I needed to laugh, since my own baby started kindergarten today. At least today I didn’t have to pull over on the side of the road afterwards to sob, like I did when my oldest went off to school!

  6. Jessie

    I get a double whammy this year. Not only is my amazing mancub…my joy (when he’s not acting like such a stereotypical teenager)…1/2 of my heart starting high school but my baby…my miracle…the OTHER 1/2 of my heart starting kindergarten.
    I’m anticipating bawling like a baby. Heaving sobs are like an abdominal workout, right?

  7. Lisa

    My boys start on Tuesday….crying….lots of crying. I also keep thinking of all the things I’ll miss. I’m so glad I did have these years, It would have been better if I’d cherished them more, but, I got lost in the toys. Sorry…crying again….

  8. Susan

    Oh, that is PRICELESS!
    And who exactly decided THAT was a good idea, I wonder? What is this, High School Musical 2? Maybe your son was supposed to break out in some sort of THANKS FOR THE AWESOME WELCOME dance!

  9. Fold My Laundry Please

    I am totally bawling now! My first born starts kindergarten on the 4th. I was doing okay. I knew I would cry on that first day (and probably the second, too), but when you talked about letting go of his tiny little hand…anyone got a tissue?

  10. Kay

    Big hugs..been there done that completely understand the emotion that goes with it.
    Now, wait for graduation, your baby to start school and the weddings…girl, you ain’t EVEN gotten started yet. Start investing in the Kleenex corporation now! 😉 Oh and the “best” part? You get to see your kids do it over theirs, except, damn it, you guessed it, YOU WILL CRY TOO!!!!!!

  11. Jessica

    They did that cheerleading crap to us when I started high school. That was thirteen years ago (good god). It annoyed me because I knew that any other day of school these b—-es would pass me by and not say a word or they’d snicker about the “fat girl”. So I don’t know why they tried to pull an, “OMG! High school is so great!” stunt.
    I’m not bitter. I swear. And looking at some of the cheerleaders NOW, I laugh.
    Demon boy starts preschool in another year and I’m counting the days. Everyone says, “Oh, you’ll cry.” After the tantrum he threw today, not bloody likely!

  12. JoAnn

    Okay, my youngest ( and only son) is starting kindergarten and while it’s only 1/2 day I am just already feeling all emotional that he’s in kindergarten! How can that be, because just yesterday he was learning his first words??? I know I will be a wreck that first day, and probably week, but I will be strong for him, and force a smile, and know that he will be fine. It’s me I’m worried about. I can’t even imagine high school!

  13. Tammy

    Ok Y, thanks for the blubbery mess you have me in! My little munchkin will start K this Monday. Now my 1st born graduated in 2005, just you wait, I was really holding things together well, untill I dropped her off at school (her car was on the kaputs) one morning at the end of the year, when there stood the grand stands for the senior picture! Yep, lost it completely, she thought I was CRAZY of course. And graduation, well just invest in a HUGE BOX OF TISSUE! Crying with you, hugs from Texas!

  14. Nina

    My baby girl is starting Pre-K on Monday. Tonight, we go “meet the teacher” and all that crap. While I’m ready for her to go to school (so I can go to the bathroom alone for a change), I’m sure I’ll be crying come Monday morning. My husband has taken off Monday-Wednesday of next week just so I won’t be alone. haha I think he thinks I’m going to do something crazy. I can’t imagine sending her to high school. gah.
    And the cheerleader thing? yeah, that’s just crazy there.

  15. Michelle

    My one and only child started High School a week ago. I didn’t cry, but that might have something to do with the fact that I was just so damn happy not to have to deal with the Summer Boredom of DOOM anymore!

  16. Mrs. Chicken

    Oh, you had me laughing wit this!
    I could picture it completely, right down to the make-up and acne.
    Don’t you wonder about the adults in charge of this stuff sometimes? I know I do.
    And ps – I meant to email you, but that you for the lovely compliment you left on my blog. From you, it felt like a coronation! 🙂

  17. Laura in Michigan

    I have a senior in college, a senior in highschool, and my BABY is in 8th grade. OMG, I have turned OLD!!

  18. jen from boston

    Susan wins best comment: “what is this? – High School Musical 2?” Heee.
    Now I’m imagining him breaking out into thw “THX 4 THE AWESOME WELCOME” dance.
    seriously, wtf, cheerleaders?

  19. Loralee

    KWEL POST. (Sorry, I just couldn’t help it!)
    You know? I was always warned “Cherish your time, it goes fast and then is gone.” I usually rolled my eyes.
    My oldest is in middle school and it hit me…His baby-hood is GONE, it isn’t coming back. I’m not a crier, but that day I sure was.

  20. Beverly

    My oldest moved away to college a week ago.
    No one cheered!
    And I have had that summer where I cry everyday, over nothing but at the same time over everything.

  21. Tammy

    My baby girl goes to kindergarten in 6 days. You would think that since I am a teacher, and I live and breath school, I would be happy for her, but no. I cried buying school supplies. Another friend (her little girl is starting this year, too) and I regularly cry together. Like every day.

  22. Jennifer

    First you had me all verclemp, thinking about 4 years from now when my son will go to Kindergarten, then you had me laughing out loud!
    God it fun to hear about embarrassed teenage boys and chirping cheerleaders!

  23. kim

    you know when the part came where you wrote And sweet Jesus in the heavens here come the tears. ..
    jep, that’s exactly where my tears came. and i don’t even have kids… i love your writing and how you adore your kids. i really hope to be a mom like you one day [/cheese]
    PS: GO ANDREW! wohoooo! 🙂

  24. Dawn

    I’ve got one starting High School and one who is going to be a Senior this year…SOB!!!! Where does the time go my friend??? WHERE!!!

  25. Kimberly

    I was fine with my first going to kindergarten but my baby…oh shit, I needed a therapist. 2 years to go until I get my very own freshman. I’ll need my Rx then I’m sure.

  26. Deborah

    OK, you’re gonna need to be medicated when you take him up to college. I just sent my oldest to college last week, and it was the toughest week I’ve ever experienced. I must have cried hundred times that week. When she was packing her room and saying “goodbye room”, I cried. When we were packing the car, driving up, unpacking, having our “goodbye dinner” then walking off and seeing her in her dorm room window waving goodbye. Good grief, I’m bawling now! But she’s loving college, having a great time, making friends. I’m sure Andrew will LOVE high school!

  27. Michelle

    Oh, Y! I feel for you and am bawling with you! I hardly ever comment, but this issue has hit me deeply this year. My 4(almost 5) yr old daughter started Pre-K4 2 weeks ago and my precious little preemie started the Early Intervention preschool in a Elementary School. He officially turned 3 two weeks before school started. He is the smallest and youngest child in a building with 5TH GRADERS!
    I had to send 2 pieces of my heart to school. I never thought it would be that way. I thought I would get to keep him with me while I adjusted to her being in school! I’m not ready to cut the cord! These are my babies!
    I don’t even want to think of things like High School, I just want to survive Preschool!

  28. WhyMommy

    I love that you cried as he went to high school.
    Also that you asked him if he “went potty” first.
    We’re always moms, aren’t we?

  29. Cmommy

    Aaawww, I cried like that, too, when each of my kids went to Kindergarten!!
    Our sons are the same age–I blogged about BigBro’s orientation (“High School Is Not a Musical”) and he was mortified that I turned the experience into a post. I almost apologized to him and then I thought, “Hey, this is my truth. This is also a moment in my life.”
    I couldn’t resist sneaking in a baby photo of him, LOL!

  30. Ginny

    I think it’s great that you were so emotional. If my kid wasn’t so freakin’ ornery I would have been right there with you. As it was, (last year) I couldn’t wait for the door to shut as he ran for the bus. I would have preferred crying. Cranky teens. Now my baby? When he goes, I’ll be a basket case.

  31. Laurie

    Oh my GOSH. Where were you TWO weeks ago? Mine started HS and I cried for TWO STRAIGHT DAYS! Holy CRAP! NO one around me seemed to understand. That’s because you were all HERE! Just ended week two, and he commented to me “You’re not crying when you talk to me now. Godo job mom.” I let him walk the first day. I’ve NEVER not gone in and met his teacher the first day. UGH.

  32. paula in ohio

    My daughter starts Kindergarten on Tuesday. I’m anticipating crying as I’ll have to watch her board the big, yellow school bus with her backback and supplies. She’s so excited (I am, too, a little bit), but putting her on the bus and hoping she gets to where she’s supposed to be is a little annerving. I’m looking forward to the “me time”, but also can’t wait for her to jump off the bus after school and come running for me! Great post, Y and good luck with high school!

  33. SusieJ

    This is a great story. I can totally see my boys reacting the same way — and me, so torn up inside, trying to make that one last connection with him — and not quite being able to get it.

  34. gorillabuns

    at least you weren’t crying with a helmet head a.k.a. sally fields.
    i couldn’t laugh because i was crying too hard, while thinking about all the feelings you expressed since i’m sending my 4 yr old to preschool.
    and because i’m a milf wanna-be and praying it will happen by her introduction into highschool.

  35. tammy

    last wednesday my baby girl started kindergarten
    friday my oldest son left for college
    tomorrow my middle son starts high school
    waaah!!!!! i con’t stop crying

  36. Stefania/CityMama

    I never thought I’d be the kind of person that cried dropping my kid off at kindergarten, but I cannot. stop. crying. and school starts tomorrow. Thanks for making me cry…
    …and laugh. I will have to close my eyes, take a deep breath, and picture those cheerleaders tomorrow.

  37. Insanity Enjoyed

    I was laughing through my tears. Thank you. I just dropped off my oldest at his first day of Kindergarten this morning and your post so addressed what I was feeling. I was so excited for him but at the same time I wanted to turn the car and take him back home. And I managed to hold the tears back until I got back into the car..but just barely.


    Hey! They didn’t have that at Devon’s high school!
    Next year, I’m squeezing my fat ass into a cheerleader outfit and standing outside to greet the freshman, a’la Yvonne & Saturday Night Live. Now, I just have to find my Will Ferrell.

  39. ESmerelda

    OH MY GOD. That is hilarious. I couldn’t imagine my little guy going to high school. Second grade was hard enough {gasp}.
    My favorite quote, “To Be a Mother is to forever have your Heart walk outside your body”

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