Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Don't Be Scared. Or Sad.

 Today is kindergarten graduation. Do you remember what I had to say the last time I attended a kindergarten graduation?

...It's a journey, people. We don't remember it anymore, but it's a monumental journey, starting school at age five and coming out nine months later at six, familiar now with the new world of elementary school. There are a million little moments of learning and experience that make up that journey; we could never count them all.

And, come to think of it, that description is just as applicable to the journeys of us new school-ager moms. We started off the year--well, I did anyway--thinking the bus seemed huge and the room wasn't childlike enough and the rules seemed harsh and the teacher seemed too no-nonsense. Then, via a million tiny moments of learning and experience from September to June, we learned how to be moms of elementary schoolers: that the bus driver is sweet and knows them all by name; that the room is just fine--different from how we remember kindergarten, maybe, but really, just fine; that the rules work in our favor as parents; that the teacher holds a perfect balance between loving and strict and can keep 23 five-year-olds in line without losing her temper, which, as parents, we know is an amazing skill.

Come to think of it, I learned an awful lot in kindergarten this year.

(Full post, here.)

Kindergarten was different this time around, as a mom who'd been through it before, no longer an elementary-school newbie. It's easier when you know what to expect, sending your little one off on a big bus to a big building without you each day. But then again, it's harder too, when you know it's the last time, the last year you'll have a wonderful, little-big five-year-old--the last time anyone in your house will be in kindergarten.

It has been a magical year, full of learning and fun, morning playdates and afternoon school, books and art. One of the best things about this year, unlike when Julia was in kindergarten, was that Genevieve's afternoon-kindergarten class included the children of all my closest mom friends. Our children are all best friends, too. We all experienced it together. Which means that, this afternoon, I'll be sitting at kindergarten graduation with all my BFFs--which no doubt makes everything both sweeter and sadder. We're all in it together, and we're all crossing over to the next stage of this parenting journey at the same time. Our hearts will be holding hands, looking right and left, whispering, "1...2...3...," and taking this next parenting leap together, at the moment our kindergartners become big kids and prepare to leave us for full-day school for the first time next September.

Remember, fellow mamas: "Don't be scared."


tricia*kushman*anderson said...


Angel said...

Knowing that Coop has this teacher next year......I am going to start collecting Kleenex now. ;)