So here we are at 5… One week away from kindergarten …. I have
yet to complete her kindergarten supply list and until I buy 24 glue sticks and a box of Dixon Ticonderoga pencils as requested, it’s not real. But once I get those 24 glue sticks and Dixon Ticonderoga pencils – it’s real so I’m just not quite ready to finish this list ok…. because now I’m thinking about the first day of school and the days after that first day when they don’t let us physically walk her into her classroom and I just drop her off at the entrance and she walks by herself . At preschool, I signed her in and put her lunchbox in the fridge and checked to make sure she had a sweater in her cubby in case she got cold and an extra set of clothes just in case and … now I am absolutely crying . How am I expected to do this? I said to my husband today, “What are you going to do to help me with the first day of school?” Issy piped up and said, He’s going to give you napkins to wipe away your tears .”
This kid! She’s often more adult than I am. She’s brave and strong and kind and sensitive. She can express her feelings better than most adults I know . If she starts crying out of frustration and I say , “What’s going on? Why are you getting upset”, she is somehow capable in a 5 year old way to express herself. Just last night, I was reading a book to her and she started crying because it was a new book and she wasn’t able to read along like she often does with other books. When I asked her why she was crying she said “I’m afraid I won’t learn how to read in kindergarten…. what if it’s boring to learn and I am too bored and then I never learn how …?” And part of me was frustrated because I just wanted to get her to bed so I could fold the laundry and do some writing and I thought, Jesus Christ just let me read this book to you and then fall asleep. But I thought of her 5 year old mind and how all summer everyone has been asking her: “Are you ready for kindergarten? Oh you are going to learn so much in kindergarten… are you excited? I bet you can’t wait for kindergarten ! Oh you’re such a big girl ! You’re going to learn to read in kindergarten!” Look- she is on summer vacay in LA with 90 degree days ok? She’s living wild and free watching every kid movie available on Netflix and spending hours in my high heels and her Cinderella dress up dress from Aunt Marianne! We’ve been away swimming in pools, hanging with cousins, and going to the beach and trying to enjoy summer. We never quite got to those flash cards this summer and maybe she’s feeling a little pressure going into kindergarten. She is MY biological child after all …worrying does run through her blood…. Maybe she really is worried she won’t learn to read. It’s all everyone is talking about! Talk about pressure!
I’m trying to stay present and take it all in through these last days of summer. I am so grateful for these years I was able to be with her. I knew it would be fast, but not blink of an eye fast. I think about all the stages I worried about and eventually got through: nursing, teething, weening, potty training, preschool, toddler bed/ big girl bed and NOW KINDERGARTEN!! It doesn’t seem real.
My husband has a tattoo on his forearm that reads This Too Shall Pass. It’s a daily reminder to stay present. This is a difficult one for me. I want all this Kindergarten anxiety to pass, but not these days where she’s still ours…these days where she wants us to lie down with her when she goes to sleep, where she wants hugs and cuddles, where we all snuggle up together and watch a movie…can these days not pass?
I can remember being out to lunch when she was a little over a year old. The woman at the table next to us leaned over and told us how cute she was and asked her age. I’m sure I said ,”Already 16 months!” as if she were 22. She looked at us and smiled and said, “I know you think these are the best days and they are, but there are good days to come too. As they get older you can sit and talk with them and see who they are and who they are becoming, that’s pretty amazing too.” I think of that comment often because those magical baby days are indeed so sweet and its easy to think those best days are gone. But I still look forward for what’s to come even though each milestone takes a lot out of me.
There is so much joy everyday watching her become herself…but I will 100% be crying on the first day of kindergarten.