Wednesday, August 3, 2016
On Kindergarten Eve
There are these milestones, the big ones, the ones I used to think about when I would rock my oldest to sleep at night in big green chair in his room. I would sit there and hold Henry as he drifted off, his little breaths on my neck, daydreaming of what his life would be like- who he would be, what he would do, how it might go. I would run through these scenarios in my head, him at two, him at three, I'd think of some far off time when I'd be watching him walk away from me and into school for the first time. And it seemed so distant, almost unfathomable, you know? Going from where I was to where I am now seemed like it would feel like a lifetime...but suddenly, we're here.
When people tell you that time goes quickly, that the days are long but the years are short, that it will all pass by in a blink of eye, they're right. They're painfully right. It almost feels cliché- become a parent and receive that advice. Be a parent and give that advice. But it's the hardest thing about raising children- at least to me- the passage of time and the slow process of letting go a little more every single day.
Tonight Henry and I sat on the couch and talked for awhile. He told me about what he was most excited for- science, learning about butterflies, field trips and French. He told me about what he was feeling unsure about- missing Mommy, five full days, and not getting as much recess. We talked about this, and we talked about that. And tonight it happened to be storming, so he laid his little head in my lap and asked me to just hold him until the lightning stopped.
It was quiet for awhile as I sat there and took it all in. Someday I'll look back on this night, and tomorrow morning, and it will feel a million miles away. When I rocked him to sleep many years ago it felt like this day was somewhere in a far off future, but of course now, we're here.
I've always half-dreaded this day- to me the first day of real school marked the end of our time as we know it. No longer do we get to pick and choose days and times to attend school, maybe stay home some days if we felt like it. No more preschool, Pre-K. This is the real deal. Full days, five days a week, the whole year through.
I've asked myself so many times- have I prepared him for this? Is he ready? Am I ready? And you know what, I think we are. My tall, smart, sweet, loving, silly, sensitive five year old will be walking into kindergarten for the first time tomorrow morning and I do believe he's ready. I feel like we're ready. And so I'm sitting here at the kitchen counter typing this, everyone in my house asleep, and I'm taking a tiny moment to file this night away. Kindergarten Eve, for my first baby. Here we go...