Be kind and make good choices. Those are the words I whispered in the ear of the ever precocious Little Miss J as I hugged her on the first day of kindergarten. That pretty much covers it, no?
When we got to campus, she immediately asked if she could go play. I asked if she wanted me to stay and the only reason she considered letting me stay was because she felt bad telling me to leave. I watched her as she jumped, climbed, and went down the slide, so happy to be outside with other kids. She interacted with kids that she didn't know and immediately started making new friends. She won't be 5 years old until October, so she's a bit young for kindergarten, but after the last two days, I have stopped second guessing our decision to send her. She absolutely loves it.
The whole transition has been much harder on me than on her. Three days later, just thinking about the first day of kindergarten brings tears to be eyes. Trust me, there are days I would give just about ANYTHING for her to be able to take care of herself and not have to ask me an infinite number of questions, but as she creeps closer to independence I just want to gather her up in my arms and hold onto 4 years old with all my might. I really just need to get a grip, but I'm proud, sad, and excited all rolled into one.
I'm proud of myself for making such an incredible little person. The other night someone congratulated me on doing such a good job with her and for a mom that couldn't tell you the difference between free range and attachment parenting and has zero clue what baby lead weaning is, the validation was appreciated. I am also proud of Little Miss J for being brave and kind. It's a new school and she has managed the transition with grace and resilience.
I am sad and excited for the same reasons. Excited that she's growing into such an awesome human and sad that she's growing up into such an awesome human. I am awestruck nearly every day at something she says or does or simply by the fact that she's so big and when I met her she was the length of Gus's forearm. I feel like the first day of kindergarten is a bit of a tipping point - it's the first of many first days of school for her. (Many many if she follows in her umma's footsteps and decides it's a good idea to get not one, but two graduate degrees. It's not necessarily, by the way - a good idea, that is.) It feels like such a slippery slope, and that now that kindergarten has started the time is somehow going to go even faster and she'll be in college well before I'm ready to let go.
Happy 1st Day of Kindergarten, Little Miss J! In the words of Dr. Seuss, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose!" I am so very proud of you today, right now. Whatever direction you choose, no matter what period in your lifetime, I hope you will always be kind and make good choices. It is actually not possible for you to grasp how much you mean to me (until you have your own children) because those words (at least not English ones) simply do not exist. I love you to infinity and beyond! - Umma