Today is Jack's first full day of kindergarten. Yesterday, we had an open house for students and their parents, but today is the real deal.
Jack, Jossie and I were a few steps behind our neighbors as we walked to the school. We quickened our pace to catch up. Jack ran ahead and fell in line with two neighborhood boys. I was okay until that point - I watched how Jack tried to match their steps, readjusting his new backpack on his shoulders. He was looking to them on where he might fit in. Just a block or two away, all three boys were laughing together, blended together.
We hit the school grounds just as the first bell rang. Jack ran ahead, but then double-backed. He grabbed my hand, and I did my best to not cry. I grabbed Jossie's stroller and we pressed closer to the door, through the crowds of parents and students. "Where do I go?" Jack looked at me. I reminded him of what he needed to do and knelt down to hug and kiss him. Our new neighbor and friend, Annie, pressed her son's hand into Jack's hand, and together the boys walked into their classroom together, holding hands. Annie and I stood side-by-side, watching her youngest and my firstborn as they disappeared. I think we were symbolically holding hands too.
This is a big step for our boy, and I am very excited for this new journey. But for now, I think I just need a good cry at this milestone moment.