kindergarten progress

I am amazed at how much my daughter has learned and grown in Kindergarten. Her last day was Thursday, and she came off the bus a combination of smiles and a little sadness behind her eyes that I’m pretty sure only I could see.

“Are you happy you’re all done with school?” I asked her. “Yeah,” she said. “But I didn’t want to leave the classroom. Or the school. Or the bus. Or my friends.” I knew what she felt; I distinctly remember kissing the wall of my kindergarten classroom when nobody was looking because I was really, really going to miss it, and even at 5, I knew it.

But I assured her that the summer would be just as fun. And so would her Wednesdays and Fridays at summer camp. And then First Grade! She would be a first grader come fall.

Her teacher sent home all the binders and workbooks they had been using throughout the year.  I had seen some of them because I was a frequent helper in the classroom. But there was one that especially caught my eye – it was a monthly writing sample.  I could not believe how she went from barely legible scribbles to complete sentences with detail in pictures. And how a teacher of 24 wiggly little 5 and 6 year olds can successfully teach so much to all these kids.

I’m so grateful for all S has learned….it brought tears to my eyes looking through her little “science notebook” and leadership binder.  In a way so much is expected of our kindergarteners now – but I think she did okay!

hold your friends close, dear daughter

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S came running off the bus the other day with half of a best friend necklace around her neck. “Mama, look! My friend gave me this. We’re best friends!” and the joy on her face lit me up as well. “She has the other half and we are going to be friends forever!”

I hope she and M are friends forever. But in reality, I know that kindergarten friendships sometimes fade.  Just like ones in grade school, middle school, high school, and even into adulthood. But I also know that she will find some friends that are just gems, like I did, and that they will be one of the most important parts of her life.

So dear daughter, I wish you an amazing lifetime of blossoming and joyous friendships. In the beginning, they will be the friends that you swing with, bike with, and play house with. Then those friendships will transition to those of confidants; you will giggle with secrets of boys and groan about homework together. Then you’ll enter another phase – one where your friends will carry you through heartache, significant life changes and disappointments. Some of those disappointments may be through broken friendships – but you will have friends to carry you through those as well.

And I hope you give your heart to your friends as well, and give them all the love they need through their own ups and downs. That, dear S, is an important part of a friendship – how you both support them and celebrate their joys alongside them.

Most of all, dear daughter – I wish you a circle of friends that wrap you in their love. That know from one look what you are thinking and feeling. And that can sense when you need a little something that only a good friend can provide. And I hope that you know what a treasure a good friend is. Hold them close to your heart and give them all the love you can in return.

Back to school knots

When I was young, back to school time was always met with mixed feelings in my young mind and heart.  Sadness to see the summer go, butterflies at the thought of new teachers and new classmates, and the excitement at the smell of new notebooks stacks of 3 hole punched paper and pencils.

As a mom now, back to school hasn’t meant TOO much.  S has been in preschool for two years and C is too young to go, but it wasn’t a huge deal. This year, it is.  S starts kindergarten in 3 weeks and I’m sick to my stomach over it.

It’s a mixture of things, once again.  My fear of whether I am starting her too early and should have “redshirted” her.  Will she be safe on a bus that has K-5th graders on it? What if the bus breaks down? Will she eat her lunch in the 20 min allowed? Will the two small recess breaks allowed be enough for her little mind and body?

And will she be sad and lonely? And if so, will there be someone that notices in this new sea of students where the cafeteria ratio of adults to kids is something she has never experienced.

I know these are all things that may happen and if not, she (and I) will make it through. But the thought of putting her on that bus and not really knowing what is going on from 8.15 to when she returns to the curb at 4.15 has me sick with worry.

I guess I have 3 weeks to figure it out.  The last thing I want is to appear nervous or sad when she’s climbing those steps on the bus. Ahhhh letting them go is so hard!

Much, much harder than I ever imagined when I wasn’t a mama.