Nate is my last baby. We are all in agreement that our family is complete with two adults and two children. I am ready to regain a little independence and to begin putting myself back in a place where it’s okay to make myself a priority in some instances. I have waited a long time (8 years!) to have days where the kids are in school and I can put the wiping of butts and noses and the serving of cut up grapes and fish crackers and the diffusing of seemingly hourly tantrums behind us.
I will have two and a half hours each day where they are both at school. Two whole hours and thirty minutes. Every day.
I’m pretty excited about that.
My big kid is beyond ready to go back to school, if she had things her way there would be no such thing as summer break. Nate is excited too. He is ready for more than lego and colouring. He is ready to learn about ABCs and 123s and to make some friends. He had a rough start to pre-school but settled into it in stride and rather enjoyed himself there by the end of it. He learned how to write his name and he does so proudly. He is thrilled to have a new back pack and lunch kit and a pair of indoor shoes with his name on them.
I keep telling myself that it’s time. That we’re all ready for this stage of life. But I also know that Kindergarten is a big milestone. It’s the marker for the moment where the rest of the universe can barge into our tight little nest. It’s the moment when other children become influential and when the teacher has a lot of power over what is important and what should be. It’s the day when Mom and Dad cease being the only people that matter. This of course is a good thing and it’s a little sad too. Now we need to begin teaching him the hard things. The social lessons. The self esteem lessons. The “I’ll love you and you are smart and you are good and you are worth better,” lessons that come from when little Bobby says “I hate you!” because those things are bound to happen and I just hope that he isn’t on the wrong side when they do. It’s part of growing up and we all go through it. But Kindergarten means I can’t protect him from that any longer. He’s going to be outside my safety every day.
And when I send him off for his first day, I know that despite my best efforts, tears will fall. I hope they are only from me and that his eyes stay dry and steadfast, looking forward to all that will come this year. This Kindergarten adventure is his to triumph over and I will be there to support him and push him forward, against every secret wish I have to keep him beside me for just one more day.
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