It seems fitting that Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is the same week that school begins for many of our kids. It’s certainly a time of change and new beginnings in my house. Isabel starts kindergarten today! It’s a good thing this newsletter goes in production in advance, or I imagine the tears would be flowing too much for me to type.

I’ve been thinking lately about why so many parents cry on their child’s first day of school or day care. Some parents go even further and follow the bus to school, peek through school windows or refuse to leave the classroom until the teacher kicks them out. I haven’t done any of those things yet, but I admit to having left the JCC preschool with my eyes filled with tears and trying to make a beeline for my car so no one would see!

So, why do we get so emotional? Maybe because it feels like we just had our babies and it’s overwhelming to acknowledge they’re grown enough to have reached this milestone, or maybe because the thought of being separated from our child all day is a sad one.

I know it’s just kindergarten, but I worry I’m going to turn around and she’ll be going on dates, borrowing the car keys, leaving for college and moving away. Yes, I’m getting completely ahead of myself, but that, my dear friends, is why I’ll be crying at kindergarten drop-off.

Isabel has also been thinking about growing up, as evidenced by this recent conversation:

Isabel: “Mom, I’m not sure I want to work after I get married. Do you think Eric [her pretend boyfriend] will make enough money playing football so I won’t have to work?”
Me: “Well, maybe if he travels playing football he will make enough.”
Isabel: “But won’t I miss him? I mean, won’t I want him to come home at night to read me my bedtime stories? Will I still be age-appropriate that I’ll get bedtime stories?”

For this new year, I’m going to try to savor the sweet, joyous milestones and not worry about the future. When I dry my tears, I’ll tell you how it’s going!