“Mommy, nooo! Don’t make me go!” I clutched the leg of my highly embarrassed mother as she tried to calm my fears. It was my first day of preschool and I was terrified. I began to cry even harder when my mom attempted to pry me off of her leg. She told me that she’d be back very soon and that my teacher was extremely nice, but I held fast. I was unconvinced. The other little children stared at me with wide eyes as they witnessed the scene I was making. It wasn’t pretty. My face was stained with tears and they continued to stream down my reddened cheeks. After a great deal of coaxing, encouraging, and bribing, though, I too was sitting in a little plastic chair inside a room that I was sure to be tortured in. The entire afternoon I refused to fingerpaint, eat a snack, or sing the alphabet.
* * *
As I sat at the kitchen table a smile spread over my lips and I had to laugh at the old memory. It was hard to believe that the little four-year-old girl had once been me. But deep inside that was really how I felt, unwilling to leave my mother and detach myself from the familiar lifestyle I had lived for so long. I didn’t want to take the next step. I knew that I had to, though. It was only another turn on the winding road of life.
Making my way to my bedroom, the room I had loved for so long, I let out a heavy sigh. When I reached the doorway I was taken aback. There, sitting on my bed, was my mom, my hero, and she was sobbing. I slowly crept to her side and tried to com-fort her trembling form but soon found myself weeping as well. We cried together for a while, and it was my mom who gathered herself first. She smiled at me, squeezing me close. I returned her smile through my tears, glancing over at my packed bags and large bundles. I thought about college. What would it be like? I dismissed the thought, all that I wanted now was the comfort of my mother’s arms.