My oldest son started 1st grade this year. Having him in school ALL DAY (instead of half-day kindergarten) has been more of an adjustment for me than I expected. I guess after taking care of him all day since he was born (I'm a stay-at-home mom), it is a little weird to send him off with strangers for 6+ hours. I don't know what he's doing all day, who he's playing with, or if he's eating all of his carrots at lunch time. It's also proved to be a bit of a challenge for our schedule. My younger two are napping at the time that he gets out of school, so I have to wake them to pick him up. My 2 year old especially has a hard time with this, and usually cries in protest for several minutes after I wake him. So, two friends of mine and I came up with a solution to make pick-up time easier for all of us: carpooling! We trade off picking up all three of the kids, so we each have 2-3 days a week where we don't have to wake up our younger kids early. Great idea, right? Right! Until . . . one of the moms got mixed up and forgot it was her day to pick up. Well, she remembered to get her kid, but forgot she was supposed to get mine. So about the time I was expecting her to pull up in front of my house and deliver my boy safely back home, I got a call from the school instead. He was sitting in the office, scared because he couldn't find the mommy that was supposed to pick him up. He wouldn't even have known to go to the office, but another mom saw him looking upset, asked what was going on, and told him to go to the office. I am so thankful to her! Anyway, so of course I woke my other two up and rushed to the school. When he saw me, the tears he had been holding back began to flow, and I have to admit that mine did a little bit, too. I felt so bad that he had been left alone and scared, especially since it's the beginning of the school year and he's still adjusting. I think this is one of the hardest things about being a mommy. I want him to always feel safe, loved, and happy. I never want him to feel scared, alone, or hurt. But I am realizing more and more that no matter how hard I try, things will happen that will make him feel sad. He's going to feel scared sometimes. He's going to feel hurt when a friend says he doesn't want to play with him. He's going to be upset when he makes a mistake and has to suffer the consequences. And I am going to feel every emotion right along with him. Just like my mom did for me (and still does). Because that's what moms do.