Mom's Letter To Her Son On His First Day Of Preschool Reveals How Hard The First Drop-Off Is For Parents, Too

"If this is a good thing, why does it feel so hard?"

Saying goodbye to kids on their first day of preschool can be as hard for parents as it is for kids. But parents have to try and keep it together for their kid's sake and explain why it's a good thing they're leaving them at school — even if they're too young to fully understand it. 

Like so many parents, Mom Mary Katherine Backstrom experienced those hard emotions when she dropped off her "sweet Nugget" at preschool two years ago. The Mom Babble blogger knew that her son was too young at 2 years old to fully comprehend why he had to go to school, so she wrote a letter to him for when he's older. 

Because back-to-school season is starting, Backstrom shared the letter on Facebook in the hopes that it will make things easier on parents who are about to "take the leap."


Backstrom begins her letter by describing what it was like getting ready for school and how her son become upset about her leaving him. She talks about how he cried, and how it "wrecked" her to literally turn her back on his tears at the drop-off.

"If this is a good thing, why does it feel so hard?" she asked.

After this moment, her own tears started and she sat in the car writing a letter for her son to read when he was older about the experience. 

"By the time you are able to read this, these preschool drop-offs will be a distant memory," she wrote. "Truth be told, you probably won't remember them at all. You won't remember the screaming or the tears or the way your teacher calmly held you as I hurried my way back to the car (in case I lost courage and ripped you away from their arms). You won't remember all the panic on my face or the redness in your cheeks. You won't remember, but I promise I will."

She continues that her son won't know about how she and her husband agonized over what school to send him to and how they visited 12 different ones before deciding on a Jewish temple with colorful paper on every wall. 

Backstrom adds that her son also won't know about the guilt she faced when she returned home after that first drop-off.

"You won’t know how guilty I felt at home, cleaning the carpet for the third time. How the dishes were done, the bed was made, and how I was certain that by 10 a.m., your confidence in me was officially crushed," she said.

She admits that while her son was probably wondering where she was on that first day of school, she was on the phone with Ms. Joann, getting an update on how he played with a brown plastic doughnut and blew bubbles during circle time. 

When it comes time for her son to read the letter, she understands that he might not remember these details, but she will.

"Maybe you'll be 7 years old when you read this, rolling your eyes because this letter only proves how ridiculous Mom truly is. Maybe you'll be a teenager, embarrassed by this emotional trainwreck of a confession," she writes. "Or maybe, I like to imagine, you'll be packing up a safe four-door sedan with blue jeans and polo shirts. There will be a college bumper sticker on the back, a tank full of gas, and you will smile at me assuringly [sic] as I grip your hand like a vice."

Backstrom writes to her son that someday, the roles will be changed and she will be the one standing at the drop-off, trying to put on a brave face, while her son turns his back on her to go on a new adventure.

When that time comes, Backstrom states he might not remember the tiny socks, the lunchboxes, his 2T Mickey Mouse T-shirt, or the letter she wrote in the car, but she will. She concludes, "You won't know all of the pride and love and joy and sadness that simultaneously consumes a parent's heart when they see their child take a step, or leap, toward independence. You won't know how that feels. But I will."

The letter is resonating with parents who have dropped their children off at school and those who will be doing it soon.

One mom wrote, "It is such a relief to know that we're not alone in this crazy journey called parenthood. Thank you."

Others are revealing how emotional they became reading through it and how they were fretting over their kids' first days. To reassure one commenter, Backstrom told her that the situation is harder on her than her son and how he loves school.

(H/T: Popsugar)

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