The Big Kindergarten Cry

I meant to post this yesterday but I was emotionally spent on “the big cry”.

It didn’t happen the first day. Nor the second. Nor the fourth. It didn’t even happen the second week. But it happened two and a half weeks later. And I couldn’t stop it. Big globs of quiet tears came pouring out of my eyes. My big kindergarten cry finally came.

On the train of all places, coming home from running errands, I began crying in public. Yuck. Not my favorite thing.

On the first day of kindergarten, my little guy came out and said, “I didn’t really miss you much today, mom.” You would think I’d cry. But I didn’t. I didn’t even feel bad. I felt relieved that he did well without me.

Every day, for the past few weeks, he comes bounding out of the building and gives me a big hug. He’s keeping up with the school work. He’s enjoying the routine of the day. And everything is fine and glorious.

But when I watched him on the playground before school, I noticed that he would just be playing by himself. Or he’d ask someone to play and they wouldn’t take him up on it. When he’s home, I ask him if he played with anyone. And it’s always the same. He says it was too busy.

And then I went on my errand and on the way home, my mind started playing with me. I pictured him alone and afraid and lonely and obscure.


And then the thought occurred to me. Who was I really seeing? Was it my kiddo or was it me?

When I was a child, I was horribly afflicted with shyness. It was debilitating but no one knew or no one noticed. I always wondered if it started when the neighbor lady in the alley way that I had to pass every day would yell at me. I remember her yelling at me that I was cross-eyed and a devil and who knows what else. It was angry and frightening. I also remember my grandmother threatening her with a broom. Was this lady crazy? Was my grandmother always there to protect me with her upraised broom? I don’t know.

I just know that it took me a really long time to claw my way out of that darkness. That what I say mattered. And who I am mattered. And I do.

And my son? He’s soooo joyful. Even if no one’s playing with him. He isn’t sad. So who am I to tell him he shouldĀ sad when no one is playing with him? It’s his journey and I have to respect him and give him the space to grow and learn who he is and who he wants to be and who he wants to be with.

Both his teacher and my hubby have been great at reassuring me that he’s doing just fine. He’ll learn. And I’m sure he will. He’ll find his pack of friends like I did and he will do just fine.

And for me?

Oh, I’ll keep crying. But I’m working on having it come from a much happier place. And that would make my kiddo happy.


Josephine Fox

A happily married stay-at-home mom to a kindergartner, some time actor, and lover of photography.

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