Start of school can also be emotional for parents

The onset of the Labor Day Holiday can mean many things. For some, it’s a day off from work. For others, it’s the unofficial end of the summer season. But for thousands of parents, it signals that the first day of school is around the corner.

The onset of the Labor Day Holiday can mean many things. For some, it’s a day off from work. For others, it’s the unofficial end of the summer season. But for thousands of parents, it signals that the first day of school is around the corner.

Many of those parents are sending their children to school for the first time, leaving parents with mixed emotions and teary eyes.

Veronica Jordan, a South Side mother of two boys, said there is much excitement that goes along with getting your child prepared for the first day of school, but when reality hits, the excitement grows into nervousness.

“I’m excited and a little emotional. He’s my oldest baby. I get more nervous than he does,” Jordan said about her son, Ronald, who will start kindergarten at McDade Classical School on Sept. 2.

Reality began setting in for the “newbie” when she started shopping for the 5-year-old’s new school adventure.

“The first lunchbox, the first time buying school supplies, and of course, shopping for clothes. He can’t wait,” she said.

Jordan said McDade’s kindergarten orientation a few weeks ago helped ease her qualms.

The session gave Ronald and his mother a chance to meet the teacher and get to know other parents. Some of those parents have older children and gave Jordan good advice.

But that networking still hasn’t taken away all the butterflies in her stomach.

“When I watch him for the first time get on the school bus and seeing his little face get smaller as it drives away, I will have my tissue ready!” Jordan said with an almost teary smile.

After the school bus drives away and she blots those tears, she said the real test may come after she leaves his classroom on that first day.

“The parents have been invited to stay for about 30 minutes to get the kids comfortable,” she said, adding that it may take her some time afterwards to get herself comfortable with the new reality of having a school-aged child.

Also experiencing a little emotion about kindergarten is Christie Ceaser-Edwards. Her younger child, Khai, who attended preschool, will be starting kindergarten at New Way Christian Learning Center. Khai will be joining her older brother RJ at the school.

Khai is used to attending school, but now that she is a “big kid,” Ceaser-Edwards reminisced about how it seemed like yesterday when Khai started walking and talking.

“The emotion comes when I realize she’ll be attending kindergarten. It reminds me how fast things happen,” she said.

Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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