My little Rosie goes to kindergarten this week. Just typing the words leaves me filled with joy, excitment and the sudden urge to be sick to my stomach. She doesn't seem to be worried at all....kind of indifferent actually. D and I on the other hand have been balls of emotion. Yes, we are happy and proud of our girl. She is smart, thoughtful and has a solid moral compass. On the other hand, Rosie is painfully shy in new situations and we are worried that she will be nervous or worse....scared on her first day of school.
OK, let's cut to the chase. I am a kindergarten teacher and have been for over a decade. I know my craft inside and out and give my first time parents a speech about how "it's best to drop their little one off at the classroom with a hug and kiss goodbye." I go on to say, that "lingering may cause their child unneeded stress and that staying too long may send up a red flag that the parent is uncomfortable..thus sending a message that the little one should be as well." I smile every year as I watch those moms and pops peer in the windows long after class has started. I wait just minutes for the first email to ding, asking if someone's pride and joy was able to find a seat in the lunchroom or if they were able to make a friend in the classroom. Of course they did. Never in 12 years has someone struggled to find a seat or make a friend. They are 5... with open hearts and minds. And then, at the end of the day, I laugh when the first car arrives an hour before dismissal. It's apparent that waiting any longer at home was more than that mama could bare. I expect these things. They happen every year even though I know as the teacher the children are alright, happy and excited to learn.
So, here I am...about to send my baby to kindergarten. All of my advice and years of training are lost. I am just like any other mama this week, struggling with the thought of having such a little peanut in school for 7 hours a day. Wondering where did the time go and praying that it slow down..at least just a bit. Daddy took the morning off so he and I could drive her in together. Her lunch box is sitting on the counter...3 days early and her backpack hangs in the mudroom. In my mind, I make a running list of all of the things that I can do to ensure that her first day is a success....talk positive about school, brag on her teacher, leave a love letter in her lunch box (which will house her favorite meal), remind her that she is smart and ready, etc.
And even though I know she will be OK, I am still teary. Because when I look at her, this is all I see.
1 week old
3 months old
6 months old
9 months old
1 year old
I have to admit...I feel this overwhelming need to peer in the window after class starts...and there is a chance I may even send an email after lunch. I can't promise anything. Lunch is a whole three hours after morning drop off! And who knows what time I will show up for dismissal? I could be first in line. After all....
This is who I am sending to kindergarten.
My bright-eyed baby.