Soliloquy on the occasion of one’s second rodeo

My little muffin,

This day is finally here. You are about to enter kindergarten. And while you have watched your older sister learn the ins and outs of the school, while you have already mastered the big kid monkey bars and explored every inch of the playground as her little sister, the key to this kingdom is about to be yours, too.

When your sister started kindergarten, I was nervous and worried for her. I know too many things about schools and schooling. In the last two years, I have calmed some (but not all) of those fears. Instead of worrying about school, I am simply reconciling the idea that you could possibly be old enough to go to kindergarten.

Until the minute you line up outside the kindergarten door, bug, I will be nothing by thrilled for you. On the one hand, I feel deeply remorseful that I didn’t relish every delectable nanosecond of the last year of your life enough. On the other hand, I feel like I’m watching every minute of your first five years in the span of a second flash behind my eyes. And every frame of every memory is stunning.

From the moment you became ours, you have kept us on our toes. We might have been blissfully ignorant yet confident first time parents but your unpredictable baby nature set us off balance. In your earliest days all you did was cry and nurse, and the only peace you found was next to a warm body, cuddled close. It took us a while to realize that you need plenty of space and loads of reassurance and not all at once. Once we figured out your way in the world, we got along fine. As you’ve grown, you have maintained this as a central aspect of your being–you fly far and huddle in.

I know you’re a little apprehensive. You even admitted you were nervous and confused by all of the fuss. You are different from your sister–you live big but you need time to process what’s happening. And right now, it probably feels like everything is happening so fast.

But, life happens fast, little muffin. And I have not done enough to help you because all summer long, I have told you to stay small. I am tempted to hold your small, curly, squeaky, smiley face and freeze time. And yet, you have done some intense shape shifting this summer–your little, squeaky voice hasn’t changed much but boy do you tell us what’s on your mind. And the insight you have, the curiosity brewing behind those brown eyes, you shock us nearly daily with your questions and thoughts. I could watch you get lost in your own world, in your elaborate games of pretend with your dolls and figurines, for hours. You are empathic and sensitive and bold and creative and tough.

And you are ready.

I am stunned that you could be ready to walk through that door.

But you should go through because it is your turn now.

I will tell you what I told your sister when she started kindergarten with one small caveat: be aggressively kind to yourself and your friends, be loud, be patient, be thoughtful, ask for help, and stay innocent for as long as you can. And for you, littlest one, be yourself. Others will think you’re cut from the same cloth as your sister, and while this may be true sometimes, you are your own person and have the right to be yourself.

Fly now. We can cuddle later.



About rglw

Sociologist mom writes for work and for pleasure.
This entry was posted in everyday life, family, kids, lessons learned, love, schools and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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