Sunday, August 23, 2015

I'm Ready Because She's Ready

In three days, my firstborn will be starting Kindergarten. When I got the reminder about 9 months ago to register her, I was a basket case. I cried and cried at the mere thought of my beautiful, little girl with a backpack and lunchbox waving goodbye.

Over the past few months I’ve seen loads of articles and stories about kindergarten. Anecdotes for moms to help the prepare. Lots of lists, sad stories, happy stories, and all those in between. I refused to read any of them. The mere mention of what was about to happen and any sappiness around it made my eyes water.

I told myself I’d just lock myself in the bathroom when the time comes and cry it out. I didn’t want to read anything about it. I don’t want tips, I don’t want lists, and I don’t want to read all about how your child is going to be in school every day, 180 days a year until they are 18.

We did our shopping - she has that perfect first day of school outfit. She’s got a big girl backpack and the quintessential Disney’s Frozen lunchbox. She got new sneakers - with ties and not velcro! I even made her a beautiful necklace with a mommy elephant and baby elephant to wear so she always knows I'm watching over her. Most days she’s excited about school starting and other days she is sad because she’ll miss me.

About a month ago we got a letter from her teacher and found out the one other little girl she knows at the school is in her class. Everywhere we went, she told people what school she’d be going to, what teacher she has, about her friend who’s in her class. She was so proud she remembered it all!

Then we got another letter in the mail that she was reassigned a new teacher due to enrollment. She was so sad and worried her friend didn’t get the same teacher as her anymore (the mama bear in me wanted to call the school and make a fuss to have them change it back!). Standing in the kitchen, her eyes lit up and she told me she had an idea. She said, my friend will play on the same playground as me so that means I can play with her after all! Even if she’s not in my class.

Her revelation was so enlightening to her that she was even more excited about school at the thought of the playground and her friend. She was no longer sad about the teacher change - and my maternal instincts to beat someone up calmed down. I realized that it didn’t matter what teacher she had, she was ready for kindergarten and I have to be too.

I have spent the last 5 years and 9 months of course, preparing her for this one moment. The moment when I let her out into a world full of people that are not me. She is about to be independent in a whole other way. I won’t be there to nag her to wash her hands before she eats, or to eat with her mouth closed. I won’t be there to remind her about her manners or to tell her to be careful on the playground. I won’t be there to hug her if she gets her feelings hurt and I won’t be there to glow with pride when she does something amazing.

I won’t be there in person but I’ll be there in her heart. She is a good girl and I’ve taught her well. She is so smart and so ready to learn. And because of that, she is so ready to start big girl school. She is ready so I need to be ready.

I need to have faith in her that she will do the right thing when the time comes. I need to be strong and brave when she does walk into that school without breaking down.

No more tears about her growing up too fast and missing her. It’s time to let her out into the world and just watch her blossom and grow in the best person she knows how to be - the person I taught her to be. I’m ready for Kindergarten.

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