Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Shehecheyanu Moment: The First Day of School

Today was the first day of Kindergarten for my oldest child. He was very excited about going to school. We drove together to school (quite early, but he was raring to go), and as we walked in to the playground, I saw that we certainly were not the first to get there! It wasn't David's first time at school but it was his first time playing on the playground. As we walked in, I asked if he remembered about the blessing for something new. He did! So together we said the shehecheyanu prayer as we walked into the playground:

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech ha-Olam, shehecheyanu, v'kiyimanu, v'higiyanu lazman hazeh.

Literally: Blessed are You, our God, Ruler of the World, who has created us, sustained us, and brought us to this joyous time.

As I said it at the playground: Thank You God, for bringing us here to school and making kindergarten! (he is 5, after all)

What an incredible moment for me, to be able to say a prayer of joy at that time, and to share it with my son. I do believe that he understood how special that moment was for me. I wasn't sure that I was going to be able to convey how much the whole thing means to me, that he is now beginning his formal education. I have such mixed feelings, nervous and excited and proud and worried and happy....I think he has the same feelings.

We hung out on the playground for a few minutes (and I took some pictures....go mom), until it was time to lineup, and they allowed all the parents to go in with their kindergarteners. We entered the classroom and did some activities that oriented the kids to the classroom...found David's locker (I didn't get a locker until middle school!), which was MIA until we spoke to the teacher - she forgot to make his name tag. It was a tense moment for David but it all worked out just fine. He drew a picture of his favorite part of the classroom -- the globe -- and had a snack -- a piece of apple. At that moment, I realized that I'd forgotten to eat breakfast and I was starving! (Oops, good job mom. I don't know if I've ever forgotten to eat in my whole life before!) So I ate a piece of apple too:-)

The teacher gave some information to the parents while the kids ate their snacks and then it was time to go. But David thought it was time for the moms to go, so he told me to leave. But it was time for all of us to leave -- a very short day for the kindergarteners! Tomorrow will be a "real" day of school.

I got through the whole thing without any tears (I'm not even sure why I felt like crying) but I'm tearing up now as I write this. I'm not sad about him starting school, in fact, I'm thrilled. I think it's the overwhelming emotion of sending my baby off...


bella said...

Great post.
Those firsts are always bittersweet.

Karen said...

Laughing and crying--what's the difference?! And at this age, is it the boy carrying the backpack or the backpack carrying the boy?


Marci B. said...


I am so happy to hear about this special moment in your life, and I wish you all lots of luck. You really are a good mom :)

Helena said...

Yasher Koach to David (and to Mom, too, for not crying). What a wonderful idea to say the Shehecheyanu on the first day of Kindergarten. Mind if I steal the idea? I have three starting Kindergarten this year.


Barbara said...

I cried when mine went to preschool, then kindergarten. One of mine goes back tomorrow (5th grade now). Time really flies and you will see a lot of growth in your child now that he's with his peers.

Big hug - letting go & holding on is hard for us moms. But its part of the job!