Saturday, August 16, 2008

New Chapter: Kindergarten


Here stands my brand new kindergartner...on the same front steps we carried her up almost 6 years ago, her first day home from the hospital. Was I ready then? No. Was I ready yesterday for this new venture? No. Will I ever be ready for a new milestone in their lives which only points closer to their independence from me?

(Well...I doubt I'll shed any tears when Tate gets potty trained...)


Reese hasn't really talked much about school the past month. We didn't know how she was feeling about it there for awhile. Everyone kept asking, "Are you excited to start Kindergarten?" and she would just smile shyly and mumble some expected response. I was beginning to grow a little concerned. The other day when she and I were running errands, she brought along her teddy bear, Slumbers. Reese started pretending like Slumbers was talking. So my psychology skills kicked in. I carried on a conversation with Slumbers for a few minutes then geared the conversation toward school.

"Slumbers, did you know Reese is getting ready to go to Kindergarten?" I asked the tiny little furball.

"Yes" squeaked the answer from the backseat.

"Do you think she's excited about that?" I slyly slipped in.

"Oh yes! She is!", Slumbers comfortingly informed me.

David got to come drop her off her first day too. We walked her there and her little hand held tight to mine. Tighter than usual. We barely made it through the front door of the school when my vision started to blur. I was still able to see, however, that some of the students were almost as tall as me! We made our way through the crowds back to the more appopriately sized kids and found her room. She hung up her little backpack and found her seat just as the first few tears slipped down my cheek. I quickly scanned the room for another tearful mother to catch my eye and smile reassuredly. But I found none. All the other mothers had big smiles on their faces and were snapping pictures and waving at their children. I worked my way back over to David who offered to swipe a brand new Kleenex box on the table behind us for me.

We all just kind of hung out there for a few minutes watching, then headed to a parents meeting to learn more about what to expect this year. I almost fell out of my chair when the principal said, "Now for the first week or so, if you want to walk your child back to his or her room, feel free. After that, we encourage you to drop them off at the curb and let them walk in by themselves." BY HERSELF?! Are they crazy? I suppose they are going to let her play in traffic during recess also?

As David and I walked back home I informed him that all the other mothers in that classroom must have had hearts of stone. That's the only explanation I could reasonably come up with.

As Reese scrambled into the van after I picked her back up, she was full of tales about her day. "We have a folder that we bring home everyday and have to take back to school. We had Science today. We didn't pray....". That was hard to explain to her about. I had tried to prepare her that they wouldn't pray at school and she wouldn't be learning Bible verses at school. To which she asked uncertainly, "They don't care about the Lord?".

So Mrs. Herl, we entrust our little girl to you this school year. To nurture and teach. You now have a hand in helping mold her into the young woman she will all too soon become.
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Nathan & Tania said...

She looks so cute in her first day of school outfit! I'm sorry, no one else was crying...I'm with you, I find that pretty cold.

Alice said...

OK, that "none praying" commment had me crying. amazing. How true. How hard to explain that to your child...when it is the most important part of life....

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