I can’t believe it’s over. Kindergarten that is.
I remember the stress, worry and tears I had when Lauren started Junior Kindergarten. I was worried she’d find the full day so exhausting. I was concerned that she wasn’t writing her whole name on her own yet. She had just turned four and I thought she’d be one of the youngest in the class. I stressed about her lunch containers and if she could open them. Most of all, I knew I would miss her.
I think back to that first day of school. Megan was just a tiny idea in my belly and Andrew was still a chubby toddler who called “Bye Nana!” at the kindergarten gate. I leaned on the kindergarten wall proudly and sadly waved good-bye at my “big” girl going into that giant school with a door too heavy for her to even open.
Yesterday, she stood proud and happy at her Senior Kindergarten graduation. That "big" girl of two years ago now seems like a baby compared to the articulate student of today. The child who says hello to children I’ve never met when we see older kids at the park or grocery store.
"How do you know them?" I ask
“Mom, I go to SCHOOL with them”, she shrugs, like I’m just so out of touch.
I guess I am. She has a whole life now at school that I don’t even know about. Friends and experiences that I am not a part of and I’m only on the periphery of.
In the Kindie kingdom my child is a BIG KID. She’s been there a whole 2 years, she’s done that slide in the playground so many times it's old. She’s jumped that hopscotch. She’s yearning to break out of the walls. To.the.big.playground.
Oh the big playground.
June started out with a bang with the SK’s being let out of the walled kindie playground into the big park behind the school – with the other 600 kids. The point of letting these tiny SKs into that feeding frenzy is to prep them for grade one. I imagined a scene out of the Lion King with a trampling about to happen. I couldn’t believe my sweet Lauren was heading to that yard with what seems like hardly any supervision to be pushed, teased, pulled and be left alone for her to fall off the monkey bars and break an arm.
Instead of fear, my child has fervour. The big playground reinstalled an excitement for school in her. She wakes up now needing to know if it is a school day. Why? She needs to see her FRIENDS. Her new friends. You know. The grade 3’s who play under the monkey bars.
She needs her SUNGLASSES. Why? Oh the big kids all have them.
I can’t wear THOSE capris to school Mommy. I wore those in JK, I was a baby. The grade 2 girls have legging capris.
I don’t need to be worried about the monkey bar spills after all. It’s a whole other worry. Worries that will probably increase as she grows – the peer pressure, the self esteem issues, the independence…. WOW. I thought opening lunch containers was a worry? Nope, there’s a whole new can of worms to open.
As I watched my darling girl yesterday, in her handmade butterfly hat, sing her heart out in her graduation concert my eyes glistened with proudness. Her class song was about a caterpillar, its chrysalis and it’s journey turning into a beautiful butterfly.
I realised that’s exactly what happened to my child. I dropped off a caterpillar back in September 2009 with angst over her first day at kindergarten. Now she’s developed into a colourful, expressive, creative sweet dancing butterfly.
Fly Butterfly Fly. xo