Ellie Goes to Kindergarten

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Welp…We survived the first day of Kindergarten. It’s not easy watching your baby grow up and go off to big kid school. Luckily, my usually shy, anxious, and reserved little El popped out of bed Monday morning and said with a giggle,“I’m so excited!”

{Side note: Over the past few weeks, any time I brought up school Ellie would respond by saying she didn’t want to talk about it (translation: I’m nervous and scared). So I was a little thrown off when she said she was excited.}

So back to Monday morning. Just to clarify, I asked her what she was so excited about and she responded, “School!” Whew! With a weight lifted off my shoulders, I finished getting her dressed and fed before heading out the door. Once we got to her school I parked, and hand-in-hand we walked into her classroom. We hugged, took a picture, and like that I walked away, sneaking in one last wave at the door. She anxiously smiled back at me and I knew she’d be OK. In honor of this milestone, and in attempts to get my mind off of worrying about how she was doing at school, I treated myself to a relaxing mani/pedi.

Hard as I tried, Ellie was all I could think about, and the hours and minutes until I picked her up seemed to inch by. Finally, I decided to drive to her school, where I made the rookie move of being one of the first mom’s in the pick-up line thirty-five minutes before she got out. I tried to keep my expectations of her LOVING it low, knowing this was going to be a huge adjustment, so it didn’t completely surprise me when she crawled into the car with a look on her face like, “What the heck did you just do to me?” I could tell she was a bit in shock, and didn’t know yet how to process it all. She said, “Mom, I looked around and realized I didn’t know anyone and I got really scared and it made me miss you and home.”

On an emotional level, the thought of my daughter feeling this way made me want to cry, and since it was by the Grace of God she is able to be at my alma mater, I wanted her to love it as much as I did. Logically, I realized being scared and uncomfortable is a part of the process of doing anything new. I’ve felt those same feelings, whether it’s because of a new school, sport, job, marriage, or motherhood, not to mention during loss, coaching, and speaking. Life is change and it takes time to work through the challenges of something new. As we do, though, we grow in confidence, faith, and appreciation.

It’s my tendency to want to fix things that aren’t working, but in this case I have to remind myself to step back and allow Ellie to experience the growing pains of something new, because it’s a part of life. That evening I listened as she shared her fears and concerns and then I assured her things would get better with time. I had to fly to Austin for business early the next morning and my angel of an Aunt took Ellie to school. When I got back in town that same evening, Ellie was singing a much different tune. She couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved her school, her teacher, and her new friends!! My heart was happy and grateful.

Have you ever wanted to fix something for someone you loved, but instead of taking control you stepped back and allowed them to figure it out on their own? What was the outcome and what did you learn from the experience?

Looking forward to hearing your story! Thank you for the sweet messages you wrote on Facebook about Ellie’s first day of Kindergarten. We are so grateful for your love and support! Hope you have a wonderful day! Blessings.

PS – If you’re looking to motivate, inspire, and encourage a group you are a part of, I would love to come share my message, Living your Legacy Today. It’s about how you can transform your most challenging times into the most meaningful and purposeful path for your life. Email me at bailey@baileyheard.com.

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