Surviving the first day of school—a grandma’s story

Today was the first day of school for my granddaughter. Well, not the very first day ever, she had gone to headstart and school story timepreschool for the last two years. But those were only a couple of half-days a week and she either rode the small bus that only picked up her classmates or she rode to school with the daycare provider.

Today, she was starting kindergarten and it was all-day/every-day! Today she would also be riding the BIG school bus with all the other children on the bus route. This would include kids from kindergarten through high school.

I was very nervous, but hid it the best that I could and built up how exciting riding the bus would be and going to school all day.

Sit back and relax while I tell you the story of this day of many firsts!

The morning “mini-meltdown” first day jitters

We had laid her clothes out the night before. It was an outfit that she picked out herself. A pretty new dress with Trolls characters on it. All seemed to be going well.

We got up early because the bus would arrive before 8 a.m. She got dressed. And then the mini-meltdown began.

She didn’t like the leggings she was wearing under her dress. She didn’t like her shoes. She didn’t like school. She wanted to stay home.

The clothes were coming off and there was nothing my spouse or I could do about it!

First came the yelling and then the tears began and that was just me!

After about 10 minutes of “heated discussion” about the clothing, we finally got her to consent to wearing a different pair of leggings. She got her backpack with her first day of school paperwork and shrugged her shoulders into it.

And then it began to rain.

The first day we use an umbrella

umbrellaWhen I say “rain” I mean literal rain. My spouse ran out to the car and found the never before used umbrella. It was already looking brighter.

I say that because the kid had been begging to use an umbrella all summer and now she was going to get her chance to use it. Her face brightened. Her smile poked out from behind the cloudy look of her eyes which were still wet from her freshly shed tears.

Of course, she wanted to hold the umbrella. This was fine with us. At least she had quit crying and screaming and seemed to be a little more comfortable in her own skin.

We walked her out to the bus stop and began the wait for the bus.

She began to introduce herself to the other older kids at the bus stop before we even got to them.

Meeting the kids at the bus stop for the first time

My granddaughter enjoys meeting new people. She especially likes to introduce herself, tell her age, what grade she’s going into and who my spouse and I are.

This morning at the bus stop was no different. We were introduced to the other kids and had a little conversation with them while we waited for the bus.

And waited…

And waited…

Finally, the bus arrived and the moment of truth began. Was this grandma going to be able to let her little granddaughter get on the big bus by herself or would I now be the one having a meltdown?

“She looks so little” I’m noticing for the first time in a long time

the big yellow busCompared to the big kids and the big bus, my granddaughter looked so little. How could I possibly let her get on that bus by herself?

What if she got picked on by the bigger kids? What if the bus had an accident? What if she got teased? What if…

My mind was swirling with all the bad things that could happen on that bus or to that bus or more specifically, to my granddaughter.

I would be strong though, I promised myself. If she saw me cry, then she might have second thoughts about going.

So we smiled. We waved. We took photos.

But inside, this grandma was a mess.

Her first day on the big bus and all day at school was a success

On the big yellow busShe was way more brave than I ever was. I remember being terrified my first day of school. I remember being totally intimidated by the size of the bus and by all the other big kids none of which I knew.

But my granddaughter, that brave little soul that she is, got on the bus confidently, chose her seat and rode that bus like a boss!

She told us when she came back home this afternoon about all the things she learned at school today.

She told us about her bus ride. She told us about meeting her friends. She told us everything.

And this grandma breathed a BIG sigh of relief.

At least for today…

A day of firsts

We loved this first day of school. My granddaughter loves school and that was probably the saving grace throughout this whole thing.

I’m glad she loves school. I’m glad she successfully rode the school bus by herself. I’m even a little glad she had her mini-meltdown this morning because it showed me that she still needs me to calm her down when things get scary for her.

I love being a grandma!

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G.G. and JazAbout the author

Karin Nauber, “G.G.” is a professional journalist who has worked in the newspaper business for the past 27 years. She is also a grandmother who, along with her spouse, is raising one of their granddaughters. G.G. has five grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending as much time as possible. She began this website with the hope of helping other grandparents who may be struggling with their role as parent/grandparents. If you would like to contact her, please do so at: gg@grandparentssecondstory.com.


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