A full range of emotions was on display Monday at Little Rock's Fair Park Early Education Center, where parents dropped off their 4-year-olds for the first day of pre-kindergarten.
Some boys and girls immediately took to playing with blocks, thumbing through children's books or coloring with crayons and didn't seem to mind when mom or dad left.
Others shed a few tears, following parents into the hallway and making them linger a little longer before the first day could officially begin.
And some parents said they felt the emotions overcoming them on the milestone first-ever first day of school.
Sandra Farr dropped off her daughter, Liv.
"She's really excited and scared," Farr said in the hallway shortly after saying goodbye in the classroom. "She's sitting at the door right now saying 'bye Mommy.' ... It's a little sad. She's getting big now, and it's hard to see her grow up. But she's in good hands here."
Ashley Burks said she felt the emotions while she and her husband, Thomas Burks, drove 4-year-old daughter Lily to Fair Park on Monday, passing her old daycare on the way.
"She said, 'We'll give them love pats, Momma,'" Burks said. "And so we patted kind of toward the window."
The Burks didn't shed any tears while wishing Lily well on her first day, but they said it might come later.
"We're saving it for the car," he said.