Your momma may have been a basket case these past 24 hours.
You see, it feels as though kindergarten is the final “little kid” grade. I was under no illusion we were still Scottie Dogs in Pre-K3 with you in your tiny little uniforms running around performing Little Miss Muffet on the carpet squares of Mrs. Richardson’s classroom.
And Lord knows, I was pretty much a mess taking you TO kindergarten this year.
That transition to elementary school is hard on your parents. But it was hard on you too. And yet, with a new school and new friends and new demands on your curious brains, you did beautifully. Each one of you did. You did it differently. You learned at different paces and different styles, but you did it with humor and persistence.
Little bit with your angles and hopscotch of the mind when you learned numbers. The baby with your racing through the books and reading 48 pages all on your own. And the eldest, you stepped into such leadership this year and grew to be a performer and your own man.
As I laid in bed crying into daddy’s chest last night, I said I wasn’t ready. That it wasn’t fair we had to watch you all grow up at the exact same time. That we didn’t have it staggered like most families where you could ease out of this stage or that one. No, we’re pulled into the next stage kicking and screaming because we just want a little more time in this moment.
I want to do it differently. I want to be more patient, and cuddle at bedtime longer, and never ever refuse to tuck you in for the third time in a night since I don’t know how much longer you’ll ask me to do it.
I watched you all play so confidently in your own skin today, and I was so grateful for this year and the place we landed and all it taught you about yourself and others.
We celebrated tonight. Mexican food at a NEW restaurant because the eldest, you who used to follow everything your brother and sister did, demanded we go to a new restaurant you’d never tried before. You are going to be such the adventurer. And we handed each one of you diplomas and listed your individual accomplishments this year and gave you a $10 bill to spend on whatever you choose because it was your reward for a job well done and a year well finished.
I hope you remember what your wonderful teacher told you as we left school today. She bent over, looked each of you in the eyes, and held your faces, and said, remember what you’ve learned here, remember that you are smart and you are kind and you are…
I have to say, I can’t finish what she said because I had to step away so you wouldn’t see the tears running down my face. Oh, your momma and daddy are so very proud of each one of you. You are bravely stepping into yet another new school next year and even though there will be some bumps, because life always has them, I know you will handle it with the strength and smarts that you tackled this big year of kindergarten.
I know this will be hard to hear, because it was hard for me to hear as a child, but please don’t grow up too fast. You’re going to have plenty of time to deal with the adult pressures and responsibilities and demands. Let me have you in this place a wee bit longer. I’ll carry you to the breakfast table as long as my back holds out. You are always welcome in my lap. I really want to hear all your stories. I know you have to wait a little longer in our family since everyone wants to tell their stories at once, but there will always be time left to hear yours.
I am your biggest fan.
I love you so much.
Let’s have a great summer.