Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Night Before Kindergarten

It may seem like we've been doing nothing but celebrating Lexi's birthday lately but behind the cowgirl scenes we've been preparing for another big day.  Today was the last day of being a preschooler for my big girl.  After today things will be different. 

Your back-pack is ready to go, packed with your Twinkle Toes shoes and your Care Bear pencil case that mom created, with love, just for you. It was important to mom that you had just what you wanted for this next step, somehow imagining that just the right shoes and pencil case will ensure school success.  You got a fresh hair cut, just a little trim, that caused your golden curls to spring up tight into a cute little bob.  I put a granola bar in your back-pack just in case, and tomorrow, I will fill your Lightning McQueen cup full to the top with water and put it in the side pocket of your bag.  We have been over tomorrows procedures several times, discussing pick ups and drops offs and anticipating what will actually happen in kindergarten.  Mom and dad both read you a story tonight.  I kissed your left hand and curled your fingers over the kiss for you to hang onto in case you need it tomorrow.

A few, short months ago I was not looking forward to you starting kindergarten.  Your dad and I had some decisions to make about where you would go to school and all I wanted to do was quit my job and stay home with you.  I wanted to keep you close and not share you with the rest of the world.  I wanted to protect you from any unsureness you might feel, from teasing and left outedness, from all the "scary" things at school.  We have made decisions for you since the first day you entered this world, always choosing what we felt was best for you.  But none of the choices we've made for you seem to come close in comparison to choosing which kindergarten class will be the best fit.  And if in years from now you wonder why we made the choice we did, I want you to know that the decision was made using every ounce of empathy we have to put ourselves in your shoes and choose where you would be the happiest.

Since making the kindergarten decision and having time to live with it and imagine it playing out in my mind, I am feeling confident that we made the best choice.  And I'm even a little excited for this next big life change.  Because school isn't scary.  And you are going to learn so much and meet new people.  People I don't know.  People with different stories and other perspectives.  And I can see now that I was underestimating you a few months ago.  Feeling sad for me and not appreciating that you are sooo ready for the next act in the show.

We've been holding on for five years...

...and now its time to let go.

Just a little bit.

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