First-day Jitters |

First-day Jitters

Ryan Salm/Sierra Sunturner Drummond takes a photo of his mom, Lilith, and brother, Bennett, as they drop him off at Mrs. DePew's kindergarten class for his first day of school.

The first day of kindergarten can be overwhelming for little ones venturing out for the first time, but quite often it’s mom or dad who stays awake at night in anticipation or who pulls from the parting hug in tears.

“I keep seeing him as a little baby, and now he’s getting on a bus,” said kindergarten mom Cass Rodriguez, who left her son, Harry, at Truckee Elementary School for the first time Tuesday.

“I was teary-eyed this morning,” she said as she waited for the school bell to release him, so she could make sure he got on the bus OK.

The same growing-up-too-fast sentiment echoed in the hallways of Glenshire Elementary and Kings Beach Elementary as well, where veteran moms were overheard coaching rookie mothers with: “Don’t worry, I cried all day and this is my third time,” and “I was so excited that I was out of bed at 4 o’clock in the morning making gourmet lunches, and they didn’t even eat!”

Still other parents weren’t emotional at all, just frazzled from first-day preparations, like Bill Slikkerveer, a single father of triplet kindergartners at Glenshire Elementary. After three lunches, three backpacks and three back-to-school outfits, Slikkerveer said he was “just a little stressed.”

“I’m ready. They’re ready. It’s fine,” he said.

And as the tiny bodies wandered through the hallways with looks of bewilderment, their oversized backpacks dwarfing their 40-pound frames, moms and dads said good-bye with bear hugs and high fives, looking far more jubilant than their children.

“You want your child to have the best experience possible at school, and it makes you kind of neurotic,” said Kristin Krone, a Truckee Elementary mom who was dropping off her first kindergartner. “I’ve been so excited that I think I made the poor kid nervous. I got her up, like, three hours ahead of time and we picked out her clothes last night.”

“And of course I couldn’t get anything done this morning,” Krone said. “I had to be back here at 11:30, and what if there was an accident in the roundabout?”

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