My oldest daughter is starting kindergarten next week. We are entering a new era, joining the public school, starting the beginning of growing up. We will start to get further and further away from dress up and dolls. We will start to have homework and sit down at the table with a pencil and pen instead of a crayon. We will have longer days at school, lunch away from home, and packed schedules. We won’t get to wake up and lay in bed together until 10 am, nor will we get to have lazy days playing hair salon. We won’t have as much time for play dates with friends outside of our classroom.
We won’t but then we will. What we will have, is so much more than we could ever realize. We will have it together.
We will have more grown up talks. I will get to hear more detailed stories about her day. There will be letters and poems. She will start to comprehend a better understanding of feelings and of self. Our connection will blossom into a more mature mother-daughter relationship.
It all starts with kindergarten. Our first step.
I don’t know what to tell her next week before school. Be yourself. Be kind. Be brave. Make friends. Have manners. Listen to your teacher. Respect your classmates. Share. Smile. Learn. Be happy.
And then what do I tell myself?
The same things? Be strong. Be brave. Be the rock. We will get through this.
I’m a pretty easy going person. But, one thing I do know is that, kindergarten is a big step. It is a new step. We are both going into unchartered territories. We will both have to enter blindly; there will be new people, a bigger school, new faces, and a new understanding of what is expected of us.
We will do it together.
The change of season is about renewal. From summer to fall, the air gets chilled but our hearts get warmer because we are sending our children off to school for others to make sure they are well taken care of and for them to grow.
One thing we must have is trust. We have to trust our children to make good decisions. We have to trust them to carry out everything we have taught them over the years. We have to trust ourselves, we haven’t been perfect but we have done the right things for our children. That will show. We will hear their echoing voices down the hallway and know that they are voices of positivity and kindness, because we taught them that. At least we tried to…every single day. We haven’t been perfect because there is no such thing, but we have been perfect in our efforts and struggles. We have strived to do what is best for them.
And every day we will see it more and more. (I just hope the yelling and pulling my hair out doesn’t translate over there)
Good luck getting your babies off to school next week. We will all be nervous and excited together. We will all be taking new steps. Whether it's first grade, fourth, high school, pre-k or kindergarten, trust in yourself. Know that you have done your best and continue to do so. And if you strive to do your best…so will they.
~Noreen Heffernan,Writer, MA in Public and Corporate Communications, Certified in PR Writer, Growing Ladies