Saturday, September 4, 2010

The kindergarten journey has begun in our house.

BB has been so excited to start kindergarten that it was, quite frankly, hard for me to feel incredibly sad about it. But then--gulp--when he hopped on that big yellow school bus in his brand new Star Wars shoes and didn't look back at me and then I saw his little tiny half of a blonde head barely visible in that front seat window, I did lose it in a big old sob as the bus rounded the bend. Yes, he's my firstborn, and ours are so close together, that sometimes I treat him and think of him like my teenager instead of a five-year old. And then to see him on the bus like that--I mean, he was TINY. There was no oldest, wisest anything. He was just Little.

But I went about my day and continued to look at his schedule that I had posted on the refrigerator, "now he's in math", "now in literacy", "now he's eating lunch", etc. I think the hardest thing for me--and I admit this with a touch of embarrassment--is the relinquishing of so much control over his time--to this point, I have had almost sole control over what he ate and whether it was a "healthy choice" and what he watched on television and what other kids he played with and what tone he used with his sisters and whether he was polite with adults, etc. It is hard to recognize that here on out, there are so many other influences on him than mine.

This is the beginning of his journey away from me.

I don't totally lament that, as I recognize functioning without us is a sign of a job well done, blah, blah, but still it is worth Marking the time. This is the beginning.

So then, when the designated time came, the girls and I crossed the street to meet the afternoon bus. He was the last of our neighbor kids to get off and he was looking down at his feet as he stepped down, taking care, I suppose, with those enormous school bus steps. And then he scanned the small crowd of parents and his eyes finally landed on mine and the smile that lit up his face upon seeing me there waiting for him was worth a thousand midnight wakings, a thousand dirty diapers, a thousand Lego meltdowns and a thousand missed foreign travel excursions.

I can't wait to hear about his day. Again. And again.

Ciao a tutti.

PS. My friend Stacy ("anymommy") is one of the best writers I have encountered on the web. She somehow seems to capture the human experience--MY experience--in such a profound and funny way that most days when I read her latest entry, I have a lump in my throat for one reason or another and want to just link to my blog and say, "What she said. That is what I'm feeling. What she just said." The link below (if I have linked correctly--I have never done it before) is where she writes about her children's kindergarten experience and it is lovely. I could so relate to the Being Left Behind instead of Doing the Leaving part, which resulted in another of those aforementioned lumps in the throat. Enjoy--particularly you former world traveler kindred spirits who are now keeping the home fires burning.


  1. Autumn, very nice! I don't think of it as the beginning of your kids leaving you. From what I observe many kids never leave their parents, nor should they. The relationship just changes.

  2. Oh, sweet boy. Kindergarten is definitely harder for me than for my two oldest. I identified SO much with your paragraph about control. That is absolutely the thing that is hardest for me this year, they are away from me, that might be rude, they might be unkind, they might get their feelings hurt, they might eat a popsicle for lunch and throw away their sandwich. Ack.

    Thank you for your sweet, sweet words. Reading the end of this made my day.

    PS Hope you're feeling well.
    PPS Blogger will link for you, if you click on the little chain thing, in edit mode ;-)

  3. I feel like I'm coming out of a blog slumber and it's nice to come back to you!

    We're not quite to kindergarten (preK), but I'm hanging on tight with all the reigns I can find. It seems these little humans are only *truly* ours for such a short time. I'm wondering how things are going for you now that a month of big kid school has passed....