I was not the only parent to show up too early, pace around nervously and get tearful when our babies all lined up and trooped happily into the first day of their academic careers.
Afterwards, all the new kindergarten parents stood there on the blacktop awkwardly for a second. Nobody seemed quite sure what to feel, except a little empty and lost.
We all know that the kid who comes back out these doors in a few hours might look the same, but will be forever different.
Before he walked away with his teacher, Dennis, looking rather more concerned for my emotional well-being than his own, said, "Mom, I'm not scared. Not even a little."
Well, good. That makes one of us.
about the author
Erica Noonan is chief of the Globe West bureau. Before joining the Globe in 2000, she worked for the Associated Press in Boston. Raised in Wellesley, she has a master's degree in political communication from Emerson College and a BA in political science from Trinity University in San Antonio. She lives in Natick with two energetic children: Dennis, 6, and Lila, 4.
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