Here we are. The summer before kindergarten. I have dreaded it for five years, and now it is upon me. In a few short weeks, I will turn my one and only “baby” over to the school system.
Things will never be the same.
In some ways, I am aching inside. Aching for just a little more time to enjoy her being little. Aching for more days of her being carefree. Of she and I just enjoying time together. Aching for the chance to just start all over and do it better. Be a better Mom, teach her more things, enjoy the little moments that I missed this time around.
But, here we are. She is five. She has lost five teeth. She reads well, is thriving, and is so excited to learn anything she can. She is a little sponge, with bright blue-green eyes and bouncy curls. She asks hundreds of questions a day, and sometimes has an attitude beyond her years. I see myself in her, I see her Dad in her. We have good days, and we have bad days. But everyday ends with an “I love you to the moon and back,” and snuggles.
I’m not ready for those days to end.
I know that kindergarten is the gateway to sleepovers, eye rolls, and the all too often “Mo-ommmm,” when she gets “embarrassed” by me, and kisses in public will be a major no-no.
I am afraid of what she will face in school now. Not scared that she will sit alone at lunch, although I certainly hope she doesn’t.
No, I am afraid of the possibility of someone barging into her school with a loaded weapon. I am afraid of predators who may lurk around the playground. I am afraid of bullies. But, she is excited. She is reading books on her summer reading list, getting all of her check-ups done, and picking out clothes that will be “cute for school.” Next will be school supplies, and then the wait.
The wait for the first day.
The day that she will bounce up to her class door, but turn around to give me that last glance–and then it will happen–the last five years will replay in a flash in my head…Being pregnant with her, the nurse laying her in my arms after 21 hours of labor and a C-Section. The weeks following her birth, dealing with postpartum depression and overwhelming joy at the same time. Every birthday party. The scrapes, the tears, the kisses after the Band-Aids.
…She’s waiting on me…
The tears will build, and my throat will be so tight I’ll hardly be able to breathe. But, I’ll match her smile. I’ll mouth “I love you,” and give her the thumbs up.
After a good cry in the car, I’ll pray for her. I’ll pray for her teachers, her school. And I’ll pray for all of the mommas who are experiencing this same day with their babies.
So, this last summer before kindergarten has been about spending time together, just hanging out. Letting her have fun. Letting her just be little. Enjoying the “I love yous,” and the snuggles. Breathing through the mood swings; the ones that show me what an independent girl she is going to be.