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The First Hard Day Of School

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(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Nickelodeon)

By now, most of us as parents with school age kids have experienced the first day of school.  They’ve been in class for a couple weeks now and you’d expect that they would be settling in to a daily routine.  For some, it’s GREAT to send them off.  They’ve been waiting all summer for these days.  While I have to admit that the time available to do what I need to has been nice, I really miss my kids.

I thought the first day would be the worst.  And it was tough.  It was the first day in 7 years that I really haven’t had one of my little buddies with me.  My daughter Madelynn has been in school for the last 3 years now so it’s been just me and my son Maverick in the house.  But this year, he’s in kindergarten.  So I’ve got a bit of an empty nest.

Tonight is my kids’ school open house.  Maverick seemed really excited about it until he asked if we were going to be there all day with him.  When I said no and he started crying I realized right away that he misunderstood “open house.”  It’s the day when parents get to come to the school and see the kids’ classrooms and find out how much they’ve already tortured their teachers.

I explained to him that the open house wasn’t until later tonight and that mommy would definitly be there.  There’s no way that she would miss that.  This is when it got hard.

He came over to me and tried to put on a brave face.  But it was that moment right before you know that your kid is going to break.  He looked me in the eye and with a quiver in his lip said with a crackling voice, “I just miss you so much daddy.”

Holy crap.  What do you do?  That was when I grabbed a hold of him and gave him a huge hug.  Partially because I thought he really needed it, but more because I did.  I didn’t want him to see me tear up because then it would have been impossible to get him on that bus.  I reassured him that everything would be fine and told him how much I missed him too.

I thought that the first day of school would be the hardest, but today was rough.  You really do wear your heart on your sleeve when you have kids.  It sucks to make your kid do something that very obviously is causing them some anxiety but when it’s for the best, you have to do it.  We’ve all gone through it as kids and I’m sure there are plenty of parents out there who have been in my shoes before too.

Whew!  Tough day.  Only about 17 more years of this.  I can do it.

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