An Email Titled “Kindergarten Supply List”


Kindergarten begins tomorrow. But first, let me back up.

One recent sunshiny morning, I was casually checking my email. It was a morning like many others, one in which the kids chased each other in circles around the house hopping over toys strewn about, while the smell of blueberry waffles in the toaster floated through the air, and you could find myself propped up at the table waiting for my instant coffee to kick in after working night shift the night before. I skimmed over several emails, the latest deals on the Cartwheel App, an update from my grandfather, the sale promotions at Old Navy, the latest Groupon deals in several frequented cities, a birthday invite, and then BAM.

An Email Titled “Kindergarten Supply List”

An email titled “Kindergarten Supply List.”

If I remember correctly, which is actually somewhat hard to do given how fast that emotional roller coaster took off, my initial reaction was of excitement. I was totally one of those kids that couldn’t wait for this time of year. I loved to pick out the perfect color combinations of mechanical pencils, the pretty pencil cases and the new backpack with just the right number of pockets and compartments. And then there were the years of having a locker…the excitement was overwhelming during those decorating-your-locker years! The fancy mirrors, the cute magnetic letters to arrange in all of the fun phrases for the inside of the door, the mini carpet that fit in the bottom, the matching lock for outside the door…aaaand back to reality. I just received my first ever school supply list for my first ever born for my first ever kindergartner. I was completely unprepared.

And then the sadness hit. The days I had my girl home with me any day of the week were quickly coming to an end. An end I hadn’t really put much thought into before this very moment. That day seemed so distant until now. We wouldn’t have our mornings at the park or our afternoons at the zoo just any day of the week. We would no longer have Mornings with Mommy playdates or matinee movies. And what about those days that we didn’t feel like doing anything or going anywhere by any certain time that were spent in my bed snuggled up watching cartoons?

And then the excitement kicked back in. We headed to the store to allow her to bask in the school supply tax-free weekend glory that is back-to-school season. (I also learned a good lesson for a rookie in that you should NEVER wait for tax free weekend when you only have a few basic supplies to get because they will likely be sold out and it doesn’t matter what hour of the day it is, it will be a zoo. Oops.) Pencils and erasers and folders and glue. She was thrilled to be picking out the perfect colors and patterns just for her. And you could probably say I was a little more excited than you might say is “normal.”


And then the sadness took over again. Having children brings your understanding of just how fast time passes to a new level. As the night before kindergarten has arrived, I am overwhelmed with emotion. I will long for our days of her being “little” and having her all to myself. But I am so very proud of the “big” little girl she is becoming. I am beyond excited to watch all the milestones she will hit over these next 13 years.

I had no idea the kinds of emotions that would be involved in such a simple email. An email about markers and binders. Fellow first-time-kindergartner Mama, when you open that “Kindergarten Supply List” email for the first time, know that I’m thinking of you and I totally get it. I get the laughing and the crying, the jumping up and down and the sulking. Just hang on tight and enjoy that wild emotional roller coaster ride! It’s going to be a great adventure!

How did you cope when you sent your little one to kindergarten? Or did you celebrate? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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I’m Kara, wife and mom of 3. A Florida native, I relocated to Knoxville over a decade ago to pursue a master’s degree where I promptly fell in love with the endless supply of sweet tea, southern hospitality, and peach cobbler. Oh, and my husband! I’m a physician assistant by day, wife and mom by day and night. When I’m not caring for sick patients, I enjoy traveling as a family and spending time with friends at local events downtown. We had always called Knoxville home, but after returning from spending two years living abroad, our lives are forever changed. We left a piece of our hearts on an island out in the Pacific Ocean and took with us the desire to see more. If words could explain, I’d write a book, but until then, occasional blurbs and social media posts will do!


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