First Day Fears
Jessica, Age 13, Furlong, PA

“Ed, can you believe our little Jessie Bear is going to school?”

Even then I procrastinated to do things, like going to school. I’d been obviously awake the whole time from fear, nerves, and the jitters. I imagined the icy September wind biting my face, and I tugged the covers over me even tighter. Before I knew it, my mom was peeking into my room. I didn’t want to go, but I wasn’t a good liar; however, I needed to get my act together. Determined to hold in my giggles when she came to wake me, I closed my eyes a little tighter, but with my luck she caught me smiling the smallest bit.

“Jessie, I see that smile,” she said as she blushed with laughter a little bit.

My mom scooped me out of bed and onto her lap. “Are you ready for your first day of preschool?”

Crying in fear from those words, I laid my head down onto her chest and soaked her shirt up with tears. Was she seriously going to make me go to this scary place? Looking down, I noticed my hand starting to tremble, shaking constantly from fear. I cried a tad bit harder.

“Mommy, I can’t go, I’m sick, uhuh. See?”

“Oh, Jessie, come on, you need to trust me,” she said with such confidence.

“Mommy, please, I don’t want to leave you. Let me stay.”

Tears started to form in her eyes, and she held me even tighter. I laid my head to rest on her shoulder. I felt her warm heartbeat crawling into my skin, only a mother daughter thing. My legs wobbled as I stood up to get my balance.

My mom reached for my shoulders. “Jessie, don’t be nervous. You’re going to make a plethora of new friends, and play lots of games, and before you know it, it will be time to go home.”

I didn’t trust my mom at all! Apparently going to school was like waking a sleeping bear. My mom however knew me to well.

“If you’re good, at the end of the day you can get a treat.”

I wasn’t going to miss out on that—I caught myself putting on my fancy socks, as my mom slipped a dress over me and my knotted hair. And for a final touch, she combed out my hair, into a long, golden, shiny doodle bug pony tail. I walked outside, and that’s when the reality of school slapped me across the face. I could feel my eyes swelling up with tears.

My dad picked me up and said, “Jessie Bear, you’re going to love it!”

I had no choice but to believe him. I obviously wasn’t going to get my way. By the end of the day, I had gone to preschool and met myriads of friends, and one who is still one of my best friends, Eileen. I had a great day and felt very confident in conquering my fear. Everyone has a roadblock, but it doesn’t disappear till you make it disappear. So put that fear, awkwardness, and insecurity aside.

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