Earlier this week, my oldest daughter brought home paperwork for Kindergarten registration. For any of you first-time Kindergarten mama’s, and for those mama’s that need a good laugh because you’re on your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th plus kid, here’s what this week looked like.
First… GASP! [While tightly clutching the paperwork, heart sinking, I'm asking/screaming to myself… is IT really here?]
Next. Denial, I mean that is pretty obvious, right?! [Internal dialogue… we have, like, SEVEN months before school starts. IT isn’t here yet, that’s a long time!]
Followed closely by… gazing longingly and hugging my child excessively. Yeah, like ALL afternoon. All I could do was look at, hug, play with, and say YES to my soon to be Kindergartener. She somehow looks older today, yet still so innocent and tot-like. Here goes the waterworks.
Then, an emotional, teary outburst. I’m pretty sure this is mandatory (ok, that’s me hoping I’m not the only one). My hubby was on the receiving end. He’s probably still not sure why, or what caused it. For reference, this was the evening I received the letter.
You guessed it… that night was the longest bedtime session E.V.E.R. Extra cuddles, extra books at bedtime, tucking in ALL her stuffed animals, sharing in song, saying TWO prayers, and TEN “I am” statements (each!). Then cuddles and more cuddles, as I wiped away tears.
Day 2 was filled with more responsibility. Adding a chore to her daily routine, prepping for breakfast. THIS is happening, and it’s my job to prepare her as best I can and help her along the way.
Next… ALL the family time. Her favorite part of which was a shared story-time in her bedroom. ALL four of us, plus our dog. Then game night, and earlier that evening she helped make dinner. All while I’m trying my best to cement these moments in my memory. Remembering her smiles, how she helps us finish each line of her favorite books, the way her hair feels and smells. You mamas know what I’m talking about.
Day three started with a snow day, which my soon-to-be Kindergartener declared as TEACHER DAY. It turned out to be an amazing morning filled with her pretending to be her preschool teacher, Ms. Karen. She led us in a coloring activity, a creative playdoh session and a yoga workshop. She kept referring to me as “kid,” because, saying mom would be weird in a classroom setting. I finally wrote Katie on my art project (inside-out cereal box Easter egg creation), and then she starts calling me by name (equally weird).
It was the absolute sweetest morning. The ENTIRE time, I’m soaking in this time with her and her little sister. And I’m SLOWLY realizing… she’s got this. She loves to learn, she excels in a safe, structured environment. She’s kind (most days), creative, adventurous. And while she’ll always be my little girl, she is growing into a beautiful young lady right before my eyes.
Thankfully, I'm closing out the week with acceptance + appreciation. Through motherhood, I’m learning to bask in the season I’m in. Right now, that’s impromptu dance-sessions, cooking lessons, and nature walks. It’s also attitude, pushing boundaries and other bumps along the way. So instead of packing her day with responsibility and a million activities as I attempt to answer THE question (is she ready?), I’m slowing down, giving her space + grace, and pausing to enjoy her wonderful spirit.
The beauty is in the growing. Her, me, our relationship. In each stage of life.
Yes, I need to get it together. If receiving the registration paperwork was this hard, how will her preschool graduation be? And her first-day of school? Lots of deep breaths, prayer, and grace for this mama. Sigh.
Shout out to our amazing preschool, especially Ms. Karen and Ms. Donna, for inspiring her to “teach” at home, giving her a wonderful experience at school and reassuring me at our parent-teacher conference. If you are looking into preschool options, feel free to reach out. They have an open house coming up and I'd be happy to connect you.
To all the amazing people in my daughter’s life… I appreciate you.