And so it goes. One more day to finish up your first year of Kindergarten. It seems like yesterday that you were so very excited to get on the yellow school bus and my heart was breaking thinking about how much I was going to miss you. So many times this year I have had moments when tears would rush to my eyes in a store or at the post office. I would see a mother with her little preschooler and wish I had you with me, skipping and singing and charming your way about this world. I hope she knew just how precious these years were in her life. My trips to the grocery store were definitely quicker and more efficient, but as much as everyone had told me it would be so wonderful, it really was not. I loved having you by my side, peppering our conversations with questions, helping me decide what to make for dinner, filling our baggies with vegetables and fruits. Sometimes we tend to take for granted these everyday moments of pure imperfection, of real living. I am glad that with you, I slowed down because I knew how fast it had gone by with your big sister. I really cherished our lunches out, our naps together, our playtime, errands and just being with you.
And now here we are, summer vacation around the corner, and you getting on that yellow school bus one last time. You are no longer excited about it and ask so many times for us to relocate so you can walk to school. Very wisely you informed me that some grownups are really nice to children in front of other grownups, but mean when there are no other grownups around (dear bus driver, I am rethinking your thank you gift).
You have learned so much, grown so much. I knew your teachers would enjoy having you in their class, and they did. You are so lucky to have had a wonderful school year. Good teachers are such a big blessing in a child’s life. Every child should be so lucky. From my observation though, the real teaching starts at home. Respect. Patience. Kindness. Politeness. Empathy. And Sleep. Oh how important is sleep to a child. Today you probably wonder why your crazy mother puts you to bed earlier than any of your friends, but hopefully you understand when you are a mother yourself! Two reasons. The first, you wake up very early. And second, your growing mind needs to rest. Strangely, children who are not rested are more full of ‘crazy’ energy than children who have had an adequate amount of sleep.
You enjoyed school because of the opportunity to grow in the absence of your parents and sister crowding your decisions and judgement. When faced with a difficult situation (eg: a friend telling you they were not your friend anymore), you were sad. But we talked about it and the next time that happened you very firmly declared to your ‘friend’ that that is not the kind of thing people who are real friends say or do. As much as I would have liked to rescue you from the sadness you felt, you learned a much bigger lesson with me not being there. You gained confidence and practiced doing the right thing even when I was not watching you. Yes you learned Writing, Reading and a little bit or Arithmetic. But to be honest, those are not particularly important to me. The wonderful people that you and your sister are becoming, that is what makes me most proud. The way you include a classmate when they are feeling left out, the way you walk away from a negative situation, the way you stand up for what is right. Those are your true gifts.
One more day for the beginning of summer vacation. I am making a decision right now to enjoy these next two months with the two of you. Before you know it you will be getting on that bus again to start first grade! So proud of both of you.