Off To Kindergarten!

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Off To Kindergarten! Like many other moms this time of year, I am a bundle of nerves as my sweet precious baby prepares to go to kindergarten.

I love all of the firsts that I’ve gotten to experience with my oldest. Everything is so new and exciting, and each phase and stage opens up a whole new world to us both. I am only walking alongside him as he grows and moves through life, but it’s as if I’m living it myself sometimes, enjoying the front row seat to his life.

Over the past year, we have slowly and methodically been preparing for the ultimate new experience: going to kindergarten! It has been intentional and we’ve made a ton of progress, but it never felt quite real. It was just some far off day in the future that we knew we needed to be ready for. But as summer has progressed, and the days have passed faster and faster, it has finally started to become real. We’ve gotten more serious about preparation. We’ve made actual plans based upon actual dates that are no longer just dots on a calendar. And along with this gradual ramping up of kindergarten preparation has been a gradual building up of anxiety in this momma’s heart and mind.

We have done all of the prep work and learned all of the things that are recommended. He is ready. We have learned all the skills and checked all the boxes. He is ready. We’ve purchased all the supplies, the backpack is hanging in our foyer ready for action. He is ready. The new shoes and clothes are cued up in the closet. He is ready. He’s matured so much the past year and I am so proud of the smart, helpful, and kind young man he is becoming. He is ready.

He is ready. But I am not.

I know I should be happy, and down deep inside I truly am. But I also can’t shake the emotion and the anxiety and the anticipation that has been brewing. I feel like I will explode soon. Maybe this will keep building until the day that I actually drop him off at the elementary school and leave him there all alone in his new big boy life. Maybe I’ll make it out to my car before the tears come. Or maybe I’ll manage to hold it together. I don’t handle change well, never have. And kindergarten is no exception.

The fact is that our lives are not going to be that much different than they are now, after he starts kindergarten. He already goes to daycare every day, he has since he was three-months-old. He already has an engaged and supportive network of friends and teachers who look out for him and care for him. We already have a routine. And while we are going to a different school now, the rest is pretty much the same.

But I won’t have a preschooler anymore. I won’t have him right across the street from my office where I can go visit on my lunch break if I’m missing him. Our routine that we have settled into over the past five years will never be the same. Time is moving on, and so is my baby and I have to deal with that fact. I have guilt about not spending more time with him during those years. I feel like I have to somehow make it up to him now that he is starting kindergarten, I have to make it right. In some weird way, during this time when his life is really just beginning, I feel like I have run out of time. So I worry and fret and try my best to make everything absolutely perfect to somehow make up for this imagined deficit.

But I realize that is not what he needs from me now. He needs me to be strong. To be positive. He needs me to focus on what lies ahead, and believe that everything is going to be A-ok, so he can believe it too. So that is what I’ll do.

I’ll hold it together for him…at least until I get out to my car and drive away.

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