I’m Crying On The Inside

Today was Sean’s first day of school. As I walked him down the hall to his classroom, I passed some of my neighbors who had just dropped off their children. They were sniffling and dabbing at their eyes, overcome with separation anxiety. I felt like a rotten mother because I was not crying. I was having a hard time suppressing the happy dance.

Although he protested the entire way to school, as soon as we got to his room he made a bee line for the Brio train set and immediately forgot that he had a mother, so I went on my merry way. As I walked out of the building looking forward to going to Home Depot without having to sit astride every single riding lawn mower in stock, I saw another weeping neighbor coming towards me and I tried to work up a few tears for appearances. It’s just not very convincing when you’re doing the happy dance.

happy dance

This is how I deal with separation anxiety.

25 thoughts on “I’m Crying On The Inside

  1. With my oldest entering preschool, I wasn’t doing the weepy thing. And yet, she was the one with separation anxiety and we had some issues with how best for me to leave, minus child glued to my leg.
    With my second (and baby) the tables were turned. I was the weepy one…and my baby? Pretty much, “Get lost, Mommy.”

    Loved your photo…made me laugh!

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  2. I’m a half happy-dancer, half weeper. I am so proud and happy that my kids love school and are excited about it, but I also have a little tug of sadness every year they grow up a little more even though every year, every stage is something to celebrate and revel in. Another great post.

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  3. This was too funny The Happy Dance…..
    I cried the first day Madison went to Kindergarden…..now I just say see ya when you get home…have a great day…that moment has passed.
    Jen

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  4. I started working last Monday and so my daughter is going to a daycare. I cried several times before the separation happened, because I was sad of thinking that I was not going to be with her all day, and blah blah. But now that it is actually happening I haven’t been sad and apparently she isn’t very upset either! I guess I thought it was going to be much worse, or maybe I am not dealing with my emotions, or maybe I know she is being well taken care of and I am relaxed, who knows…she is 7 months old, and I am very thankful that I had the opportunity of being with her full time all these months.

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  5. LOL! I cried with the first one, but the second one…yeah, I did a happy dance. For the first time in eight years I would have time to myself. That’s heady stuff, my friend. You’re not evil, you’re human. Dance on!!

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  6. I got here from Wild Grace. I know very well this happy dance of which you speak. I’m one in spirit with you on that one! My son is a freshman in high school and I’ve danced every year!

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  7. I got here from Wild Grace. I know very well this happy dance of which you speak. I’m one in spirit with you on that one! My son is a freshman in high school and I’ve danced every year!

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  8. Everyone is different. The first day of school is kind of exciting so I can see doing the happy dance. Good Luck to Sean on his first day. Let us know how it goes.

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  9. When my last child started kindergarten I cried and felt very emotional.

    Later in the day I was speaking with a friend about her child starting kinder and she said wryly, “Yeah, I cried. . .all the way to the mall”

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  10. I know how you feel. On my first day back to work when my daughter was 8 weeks old, people kept coming up to me with pity in their eyes, asking me how many times I called to checked in at the day care. In reality, it never even occurred to me. I was so happy to be free and back in my element. During that first week, there was one time I actually drove straight home and forgot to pick her up!

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  11. Me? I did the happy dance because I didn’t have to pay for any kind of all day daycare. Those little buggers are expensive when you have to work out of the home!

    Let every woman dance to her own tune. I choose to let them go merrily and get to tapping.

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  12. I do that same happy dance. I have to resist the urge to break open a bottle of champagne at 9:30AM on the first morning of school. But if I do pop a cork on Sept. 4th, I bet I could find a few other moms around here willing to toast our back to school joy.
    Woohoo, 10 months of solo grocery shopping ahead πŸ™‚

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  13. I don’t know the exact feeling of having my kid goes to school for the first time. Not yet. But I’m pretty sure that I’ll be having the same way you did… and the tears too… Maybe I’ll also be doing the happy dance like you.. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the bright idea, dear…

    And don’t worry about this separation anxiety YOU’re dealing with ;). They’ll go away soon..

    Cheers,
    Adwina…

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  14. Well let me say I did the happy dance at kindergarten, and Boomamas ugly cry at high school graduation. Every good mama needs a well deserved break. I am all for school!!!

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  15. On my youngest child’s first day of kindergarten, he insisted on being dropped off in front of the school like his big sister and walking alone to the classroom. He probably did a happy dance all the way into the room. Only later did I discover I was the only parent who didn’t walk their kid in! Guilt galore!

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  16. My oldest started kindergarten last year. I felt similarly to you. I loved kindergarten so much that the last day of school, I walked in to see my sweetheart on the floor with his friends and the floodgates opened. I cried so hard that I could barely talk to his teacher.

    Imagine how I felt realizing that I was probably the only mother excited on the first day of school and bawling on the last day of school! No exactly mother of the year material!

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  17. Staples used to have a commercial with “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” playing in the background. Only it wasn’t for Christmas, it was back-to-school. Kids were shuffling along behind a basket while the father did a dance much like yours while throwing supplies in the basket. Still cracks me up just thinking about it.

    I maintain that the Lord always blesses us with good reason to be happy it’s time for school so that it masks the pain! πŸ™‚

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  18. The happy dance can occur again when your last one leaves home and heads to college. One must be careful at this stage of life though, to curb any outrageously happy thoughts or demonstrations. For example, Susie said to me recently “Have you considered that you can no longer father a child, just as I can no longer have a child,” to which I wisely and soberly replied, “yes, but we can still catch all manner of diseases, so be careful out there.”

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