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The first nudge toward the edge of the nest | dooce® dooce® » I'm Heather B. Armstrong. This is my website. » The first nudge toward the edge of the nest
  • Anonymous

    It all just goes so fast!!!

  • StephTN

    Yay Leta!

  • Anonymous

    Tears. Dripping!

    Before I read this, I hung out with my gorgeous 14 month-old little man and watched him take his first steps. First one tentative shuffling little jig on his (only recently!) standing feet. Then two. And then. Suddenly. Four steps. Full ones. Just like that. (I wonder what all the family and in-laws will have to say now, after weeks of exclaiming, “He’s not walking YET?! Well [insert random person name here] walked right out of my womb!”)

    I can’t even fathom the pride, bittersweet nostalgia and joy I’ll feel when it’s time to drop him at kindergarten. Well done dooce! And congrats Leta!

  • Zoid

    How has she been liking it since?

    By the way, that kid’s got style.

  • http://www.number17cherrytreelane.wordpress.com No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane

    I have tears in my eyes.

  • kzmet

    So I am crying, your kindergarten sounds lovely, and I am already anxious for my little 2yr old lady to go to school, am scared she will be like her shy old Mum. You guys were super-brave, thank you for sharing Leta!

  • Erin

    That’s beautiful. I’m not sure I will ever be a mother, but man, would I love to feel what you felt on that day…

  • http://colourfulwords.blogspot.com/ Natalie

    Can totally relate – and learn. A month ago I went to information morning for my son’s school-to-be and they started with a choir performance of Mamma Mia. That was my princess castle moment!

    http://colourfulwords.blogspot.com/2009/08/criteria-for-good-school-stockpile-of.html

    I am taking notes of getting through first day. I love how you can make me nod my head in appreciation of the ridiculousness of motherhood and literally cry with the fierceness of your love. xox

  • http://timesurge.blogspot.com Surge

    Wow, she’s like an angel and makes me miss my childhood so bad. Speaking of the snacks thing, it reminds me of when I was in the grade before grade one.. (?) and some girl took my snack. I seen her with it, said “Hey! I have the same one!” with a huge smile, went to get mine and realised that people take things.

  • Dawn

    What an awesome first day of school story. You really know how to spin a yarn!!

  • Helen

    Here I sit, all misty eyed with a big lump in my throat. I so wish I could remember my mom ever taking me to school. It’s too late now for me to ask her about all those “little things” as she passed away 16 years ago. How awesome for Leta and Marlo to have a Mom who writes it all down so the memories will live on. Congrats to you and Leta on having a spectacular 1st day of school. She actually reminds me of myself in that I was a voracious reader. Still am.

    Blessings my dear, ’cause you are fantabulously awesome! Your kiddos are in for a beautiful and amazing life~~~~

  • KellyS

    Ah, picky eaters. Tonight I gave my 7-year-old a grilled cheese sandwich made on the panini press, rather than in a pan as usual. She kept staring at the grill mark lines on the bread and finally said, “this is making my stomach hurt.”

    In other words, I feel ya. (But at least mine will eat bread. WHITE only, but bread.)

  • http://www.thetartdoctrine.blogspot.com The Saucy Little Tart, J.D.

    So glad to see I wasn’t the only one who cried my eyes out over this sweet post!

  • http://laurismith.blogspot.com Lauri

    I totally CANNOT BELIEVE Leta is in Kindergarten! I remember when you were pregnant with her. *sigh*

    Funny you would mention the Volkswagon commercial…I have 2 girls, and we are SO THAT COMMERCIAL!

  • http://joanno.blogspot.com Joanna

    More tears here, but happy ones. I just asked my 10th-grader what she remembers about her first day of kindergarten: she remembers the kitty shirt she was wearing, and we have a picture very much like Leta’s!

    She also remembers learning to read with the two friends who fought for her affection (literally) and how they snickered when they learned to read the word “but.” Alsom not sleeping during nap time, and being so excited when they sometimes got oreos for snacks. She was of the “Mom, I don’t want to talk now” school, and still is, but I’ve learned that she’ll tell me about school when I tuck her in at night. She still asks me to do that.

    I remember thinking that the school looked so huge compared to the child care center where she’d been, pretty much the same way I felt about her first day of high school– “All those other kids are enormous! and they have facial hair, and drive cars!”

    My nephew the picky eater who would only eat hot dogs and sourdough bread with unsalted butter is now in college cooking for himself–great vegetarian food. His mother, my sister, went through a phase in which she nourished herself exclusively with french fries; later she became a professional chef. We’ll have to check back in a few years to see what Leta’s cooking for you!

  • http://onlyforbaby.us baby

    I liked the story. It made me remember of my baby’s first day of kindergarten… Thank you for sharing your life with us!! beautifully written..

  • Dad of C & L

    My mom was a career woman, this was 1962. I was taken to school, she was very well dressed, a smart suit, I remember it was red and the blouse had little poppies on it. As I was escorted to the classroom I felt a little queasy, well…next think you know (not Jed’s a millionaire) projectile oatmeal or whatever was breakfast that day allover….hmmm…memories

  • grace

    Oh thank you for sharing this wonderful day :) My one and only child, my daughter, graduated this spring… It’s all over for me – the school years – and vicarious living is all i get now. Thank you, Heather.

  • http://dancingkitchen.wordpress.com kat

    sigh. love.

  • http://lemonade-and-kidneys.blogspot.com/ RuthWells

    Perfection.

  • Anonymous

    I thought that bread was the grossest thing ever too! I REFUSED to eat school lunches and refused to eat anything commonly found in a lunch box. My dad once told me that I couldnt go to recess until I ate half of the pb & j sandwich that he put in my lunch that day… I was the only one left in the cafeteria that day because I couldnt disobey my dad but I also could NOT eat a dsigusting sandwich! Eventually the lunch lady came over to me, grabbed my sandwich, threw it in the trash and made me go play… the lunch lady was my Grandma! haha

  • MBINNM

    #498–That is hysterical!

    My baby is now 20 and I don’t remember too many details of the first day of school for him other than we were both really excited. (He was a handful back then and I knew that going to school on the bus every day would make him so much happier than spending the day with me and just waiting for his older sister to get home from school.) We lived in a small town and I thought I knew lots of people, but I have to admit I was pretty unnerved when I took him to the grocery store one day and some older man came up to my son, called him by name, and started a conversation with him. It turns out he did something at the school (can’t remember what) and he and my son were big fans of each other. Being a boy, my son never really talked too much about details of his day, and that day I realized with a sense of sadness that he was starting a life separate from me and making friends that I didn’t know about and doing things during the day that I wasn’t there to see. It was very weird.

    But, I was smart and got a job at his mid/high school and was there every day (with both kids) from 6th-12th grades. Ah, the revenge! Tee hee hee. (Actually, it worked out very well and I’m beyond proud of him now!!!)

  • http://www.turducks.blogspot.com Kelly

    So sweet. You hope they always want to tell you everything.

  • http://soupgirls.typepad.com/knittingtheblues Teresa Campbell

    Trust me, you will so totally bring up the burritos.

  • http://amandablogandkiss.wordpress.com/ Amanda Blog and Kiss

    Wow, that was beautifully written! Two thumbs up.

  • Candy

    Bravo for both of you!!

    On my daughter’s first day of kindergarten, she got on the bus and never even looked back. Now she is in high school. Don’t get me started. I just might cry.

  • NY, NY

    Awwww. This is the girl who as a baby was screaming for all the screaming because she was so busy screaming? It happens fast, right? She’ll be driving the family car in no time at all. (hopefully she won’t be screaming.)

  • http://www.blomsterbarnet.blogspot.com Kine

    Leta is the coolest kid!

  • sara

    I know it isn’t at all the same, but Heather, we’ve been living this with you. I’m so proud of Leta! What a big day. Hugs to you all.

  • http://www.themomclaire.blogspot.com Claire

    I just went through the same thing but different. My daughter is 4 and started Pre School I had been a working mom. She had been in daycare since she was one. It would have been sooner but Katrina hit, I was laid off and it took almost a year to get her back onto a daycare and to get myself a job.
    Anyway, money has been getting tight and even though I am now disabled we never took her out of daycare because she loved it and she was learning so much and making so many new friends. We found out that she was eligable for daycare in out town because of me being disabled so we applied. We quickly found out that the school in our area bussed the kids to the next town so we moved, same town but Blue Ribbon schools. We ended up getting the call that she had gotten into the public school program in the school of our choice and she was to start the next day. I had no time to prepare her but she assured me, her mother, that she would be fine.
    We drove her to school the first day and walked her to her class room. I cried the whole way home. My husband went to work but showed up home early because he could not imagine not picking her up with me on her first day. So we left to go get her. She was so excited and could not wait to go back the next day. She had made a ton of friends already! The teacher called us that evening to let us know that she was too advanced for Pre School but there was nothing we could do about it. She was going to try to challenge her in class.
    Over the weekend Mia decided that she did not want us bring her to school. She wanted to ride the bus. I had my mommy moment “SHE IS ONLY 4 YEARS OLD AND SHE WANTS TO RIDE THE BUS… THE BUS!”. We called the bus driver and set it up. We called her teacher to let her know and on Monday morning, Mia caught the bus. She could barely make it up the stairs but was determined.
    I cried all day long!
    When the bus dropped her off that afternoon she got off crying. She thought she was on the wrong bus and thought she was never going to see us again. My heart still stops when I think about that moment. My baby was scared but I could not be for her sake. We assured her that it would never happen. The bus driver knew where she lived and would make sure that she always got home. Of course you would THINK that his was the end of the bus but she wanted to try again the nexy day and fearlessly got on the bus the following morning.
    It has been over a month now and she rides the bus to school everyday. No more tears… I am not even aloud to walk her to the bus. I have to stay in the driveway and watch her climb on all by herself… because she is a big girl… and she has assured me that she will have another baby for me so that I wont be so alone at home during the day. How freaking sweet is that!
    I am so glad that Leta had a great first day and as you can see, I can totaly feel you on this one. It is amazing how they still cling but grow up right before our eyes. They are “big girls” now… it goes to show that they were raised well!

  • http://circleoflifeblog.blogspot.com Multi-Tasking Mommy

    My Bunny started Kindergarten this year too! I look forward to reading your adventures :) My daughter came home on the first full day and told me that she “made a mistake” and ate her lunch for snack and snack for lunch. Smart cookie. There were treats in her lunch!

  • Anonymous

    glad that she had a good first day

    not that you asked but unless she is doing “locks for love” that girl needs a haircut!

  • http://decormadesimple.com Dianna

    I think sending them off to kindergarten is hard for all of us mom’s and grandma’s too! It’s that feeling of loosing your baby, they are growing up.

  • http://www.rachaelrossman.com Rachael

    I will be living through this very thing TOMORROW. And even though I’ve been through it once before, this one is my baby, and my only girl…and…

    There’s going to be a scene, but it won’t be the 5 yr old.

  • david

    i remember playing led zeppelin records in kindergarten. no joke.

  • Christy

    OMG HEATHER! I had so many emotions when reading this! I laughed and cried and nodded my head vigorously remembering when I went through this EXACT same scenario with my now 9 yr old. WOW – the time has flown. You probably won’t read this comment as I am like the 300th commenter, but I had to ask you if you have read the book “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn. It is the perfect book for the first day of Kindergarten. My daughter’s Kindergarten teacher read it to her on the first day of school, as I stood there and cried. When you said you used the hand to wipe away Leta’s tears that you wiped your own away with – reminded me of that book and of my own experiences. It’s funny, but I STILL have to take a day off of work when my daughter goes back to school every year to cope with it! We’re here for you sister!!!!

  • Anonymous

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! RT @dooce I’m guessing my blog stalker has so much time to harass me because her crusty panties have permanently glued her to her chair.

    Oh sweetheart, don’t flatter yourself. This isn’t stalking… it’s pure entertainment. And you know what? “blog stalker” is singular, insinuating that there’s only one person out there who thinks you’re self-serving, narcissistic, and ridiculous. And we have dynamic IP addresses and more than 10 computers each on which to comment. FUN FUN!!!

  • http://www.lifewithlily.com Kimberly

    I got a little teary at the part about meeting up for dinner & wine years down the road. Probably because that’s the point that I am at in MY life… Meeting for dinner and recounting all those important days from my childhood that I still recall so readily. Wonderful. :)

  • http://smalltownmoms.com/ Jen@smalltownmoms

    I’m pissed. Look how freaking adorable she is in her kick-ass sassy skirt! I have four boys – two of whom are teenagers and tower over me. They never look sassy! Well, except when my oldest dressed up as Frenchie from Grease for Halloween…but I digress. (Props to him – he was a hot Pink Lady!) Enjoy kindergarten. It’s pretty much all downhill from here.

  • http://www.wearenoll.blogspot.com Adrienne Noll

    Great post, we’ll be doing the Kindergarten thing next fall, but she’ll be at the same school I teach at, and she’s always been in daycare, so it won’t be quite as magical. I just had to tell you that I can totally relate to the non-eater status. I never knew a kid could actually hate peanut butter and jelly. Or strawberries. She does love pomegranates, so maybe that’s what will keep her healthy. Also, the talking…and the talking…and the mouth moving even when the door is closed…and then again still going when you open the door…like you ducked underwater and missed have of a conversation but still know exactly what is being said…and more talking….

  • Anonymous

    HAHAHA Yes I’m such a tool. I get my kicks coming to dooce because I have no life. HAHAHA Aren’t a pityful and pathetic.

  • Tarynn

    I just did the same thing with my son two weeks ago. At the kinder orientation the day before school started, the teacher handed the parents a little plastic baggie with a small packet of tissues, a tea bag, and a cotton ball. The accompanying note read: “Today is a big day for you too! After you’ve wiped your eyes, hold the cotton ball in your hand to remember the softness of your child’s hand in yours. Then go home and make a cup of tea and put up your feet: you did a great job bringing them this far, and now it is my turn to be their teacher and help you guide and shape their lives! Good Job!” something to that effect. It was the sweetest gesture! 

    At his new school, you can get in through the playground by crossing a long foot bridge that goes over a creek about 50′ below. It goes through these tall beautiful trees that make a canopy over the wooden bridge. As we walked across, holding hands, his brand-new backpack swinging against his booty, I told quietly him “This is a bridge to a whole new adventure. One that will last your entire life. It’s such an exciting day for you.” He looked up at me and said softly “Even though I’m really really scared, I’m REALLY REALLY excited, too!” 

    We walked into the classroom, and his usual confidence and enthusiasm were a bit subduded…he seemed nervous! A condition we’ve never seen in him before! He was shy! And I have to admit, I was expecting him to walk in their and say “Bye, Mom,” and never look back, because that’s the kind of kid he is. And break my heart with the unnecessity of me. But to my great surprise, HE NEEDED ME. Parents were sitting on the colorful alphabet rug, reading books to their kindergartners and trying not to cry, or crying, or sobbing, etc….and we sat quietly, with him on my lap, and read Green Eggs and Ham. And my heart hurt so badly but was so proud at the same time. Because this was such a big day, and it was sweet for both of us. When the teacher said “Give your families a hug and say ‘See you soon, Racoon!’” he looked at me, a little panicky, and I looked right in his eyes and told him It.Is.Going.To.Be.Okay. and he nodded, said “I trust you Mama. You can go now.” I never felt more proud of his bravery. I walked out backwards, but he never looked back. 

    And then I collapsed with all the other parent’s outside the classroom door,crying my eyes out and hugging strangers that knew exactly what I was going through.

  • http://singsthemagpie.blogspot.com Meghan

    Hey, blog stalker! Yeah, you!

    Have you nothing better to do? What a terrible, boring life you must lead. Good luck with that.

    P.S. Grow some. Realize that this is her blog, it’s okay to be narcissistic on a blog (even though Dooce is clearly not of the sort). Because it’s about the person writing it. Hmmm, interesting theory there.

  • Anonymous

    WOW!!! that was just beautiful….as is Leta!
    My youngest boy just went to 1st grade all day…my big concerns this year were prepping him to wipe his own bottom!:) I can’t wait to share that with him over a glass of wine one day!

  • Cass

    Dear Anonymous Asshole(s):

    This is how smart you are…

    10 computers = more hits = more $$$ for Dooce! Yay!

    She is thanking you all the way to the bank.

    LOVE YOU DOOCE! ♥ Your peeps have your back.

  • Nicole

    Good god, woman. Why do you always make f-ing cry in the middle of my day? You are going to have some serious ‘splaining to do to my husband (and our responsibility-free life) when I finally break and tearfully/gleefully announce that, “it’s time.”

    Have mercy on me. Please ration these posts that show motherhood to be like maybe the awesomest most important thing ever. More terrible sleep deprivation stories and vomit and stuff please. Seriously.

  • Stacey

    Just started reading your blog over the summer and have to say I really do love it.

    This post about Leta completely hit home for me – I put my oldest on the bus to Kindy last Tuesday and felt much of the same.

    Thank you for a wonderful recollection of your day with Leta – you put into words how I felt. :)

  • http://mamioftriplets.blogspot.com Erica

    Wow! Only to think I will experience this all at one time with my triplets. I never imagined parenting would be this bittersweet. However, I would like to add that I look forward to the glass of wine moment other than to actually drop them off at kindergarden. Not so much for the alcohol, as much as it would probably just be less painful to remember than to experence it.

  • http://www.TheCraftyAngel.Etsy.com TheCraftyAngel

    I’m so happy for the both of you :*) Made me remember my daughter’s 1st day of Kindergarten. I cried ALL DAY. But when I picked her up from school, she was exactly like that–so happy, so in love with school. She loved it so much, after dinner, she wanted to go back RIGHT THEN.

    My little girl started High School this year. Time flies.

    My son started a new school–and we anticipated problems, because he does not like change. But every day it’s I LOVE SCHOOL! Only it’s Star Wars that he could babble about 24/7. That and Rock Band. Oy.

  • Shaunamama

    This post made me cry happy but been there done that tears. So sweet!