You start kindergarten today.
I’m not sure how I feel about that. Well, no, I’m exactly sure how I feel about that.
1.) Old. (Mommy is vain. The sooner you accept it, the easier it will be for all of us.)
2.) Sad to see you grow up.
3.) So happy and excited for you because you’re happy and excited.
4.) Moderately concerned that I am now expected to have two children up and dressed and fed (mostly your problem, as you’ve never been much of a breakfast girl and lately have taken to telling me, “No, it’s a special day. I don’t eat breakfast on special days.”) and pooped (mostly your brother’s problem, as he is VERY specific about how he prefers to empty his bowels and God help us all if his routine is interrupted in the slightest) and in the car by an alarmingly early time. I guess there’s no more going back to bed after Daddy goes to work. Which means we’re done having babies because that was the only way I surived (barely) Buddy’s gestation.
But t’s GOOD. I’m so so happy for you. Your teacher is wonderful, and you’re going to have so much fun playing and learning and letting your little light shine.
You’re excited. You can’t wait to do everything new and exciting about school, like go to the library, and eat lunch, and ride the bus…so excited that I can’t convince you that most of those things don’t actually happen for a few years and by then I most likely will have grown tired of having other people tell me how to raise my children and what do you mean Latin is not offered at the grade school level? How hard is it to learn “the sailors praise Mary?” and will be homeschooling you, and then, well, you’re stuck with boring lunches that I make you and the bus ride from your bedroom to the kitchen table is remarkably efficient.
You’re a big kid now, sweetie. Just the last few weeks, you’ve gotten taller. So tall that your shorts are now so short that I have to assure people that you are, in fact, fully dressed when you wear oversized t-shirts. You’re changing too. Your face isn’t round like a baby’s anymore, it’s chiseled and beautiful. When you smile or make a silly face you look like your mama, and I can’t imagine how much joy that brings to everybody you sees you. When you’re serious you look like me or Daddy, which warms my heart. And sometimes, just sometimes, you’ll be concentrating really hard on something and you’ll look like you did when I met you.
I’m so happy for you, baby, and I’m so excited to see what you’re going to get to do. But you’ll have to forgive me, I’m a little bit sad too. Because this is the first time you’re leaving me. I know it’s only for three hours, and nothing is really going to change, but EVERYTHING is going to change. You’re a school kid. And you are going to walk away from me and start something entirely new. Like you will countless more times for the rest of your life- when you don’t want me to pick you up during church anymore, when you start high school, the first time you take the car out by yourself, your first date, when you start college, when I hug you goodbye after your wedding reception, when you take your own babies home from the hospital, so many, many things you’re going to get to experience by yourself, the way God intended.
But even though I know it’s the way God intended it, I’m still sad. I’m still going to cry when I drop you off (like I am right now typing this). I’m still going to count the minutes until I get to pick you up again (just two hours later, I know, I know…) And I’m still going to hug you so, so tight all the rest of the day because you are going to do all of those things, but not right now.
Right now you’re still my four-year-old. Right now you still need me to drop you off and pick you up and make your breakfast and help you in the bathroom. Right now you’re still my baby.
I love you,