The last day {Kindergarten}

Today, as you read this, is the last day of kindergarten.  I'm a mixed bag of emotions today.  On the one hand I'm so happy that school is out.  We are collectively exhausted.  And by we I mean the whole family, Grandmas included.  We are ready for late nights outside without the obligation of school, homework, or dance.  We are ready for mini vacations.  We are ready to be free.
 
On the other hand, we are growing up way too fast.
 
Caitlin and I, it would seem, hit milestones at the same time.  As an infant, each milestone brought on a new face and new obligation of motherhood.  As a toddler missed milestones were my missed milestones.  We suffered through those together.  And now, as we end one chapter, Kindergarten, we start another first grade.  We are growing up together.  But today, she is excited about starting first grade, and I'm mourning the end of an era.
 
She brought home her name tag from her desk.
Of course I cried buckets and my heart hurt.
 
Yesterday we were invited to Caitlin's class to see what they had learned this year.  As soon as the class started to sing their first song, I lost it.  I cried as I looked at all those little faces, the ones that didn't even belong to me, and marveled at how they had grown, how the songs were just for fun now, and they didn't even realize how far they had come.  Their little voices told the stories of sight words learned, letters memorized, and a year of growing up.  There wasn't a dry eye in the place.  I feel like Mrs. Nelson's Kindergarten class was so much more than a class.  It turned into a little family.  I guess it would with me volunteering twice a week for close to six months.  I would have never believed that milestones of other children would reduce me to tears.  But they did.  I was so proud of all of those faces.
 
I'm going to miss kindergarten.  I'm going to miss the teachers, who are amazing, who love my child as much as I do.  I'm going to miss my little friends that I made as a parent volunteer.  Little ones that made my heart melt, that had me at Mrs. Crutchfield, who have grown into big kids before my eyes.  I'm going to miss being the room mom, watching 5 year olds get chocolate wasted, and making crafts out of flower pots and paint.  I'm going to miss the other moms, at pick up and drop off, and our discussions on how crazy our lives are.
 
And while I will miss all of those things about Kindergarten, I couldn't be more thankful for it.  You see, Kindergarten is something that Caitlin and I now have.  This school year was just for us.  It's been a long time since the two of us have had "something".  Caitlin has gotten used to sharing mommy, so this year was special.  It was also a time for me to devote time just to her, to focus on her, and to really get to know her again.  The Caitlin she is now. I seem to only remember her as my first born.  Some days I only remember the struggle.  I tend to only remember how hard motherhood can be.  Kindergarten, thankfully, showed me that life with my 5 year old isn't all that hard, it reminded me just how alike we are, and it reinforced that with a little effort we can really get along.  Our relationship has always been tough.  Mothering her has always been a challenge, but this year, I got a new view.  I clear view, and perhaps a fresh start.
 
Today, I will drop off a kindergartner, and pick up a first grader.  
 
And I will cry.  I will treasure this year.
And I will try to remember that last days are never the end,
but always a new beginning.
 

6 comments:

  1. Just remember that first grade is so much fun. The learning turns into something else. I love what you said about that being time for just y'all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Stay strong Mommy. You rock at life and your little girl is a direct reflection of you, aka she is a rockstar and will dominate 1st grade just like she did Kindergarten. You will have more teachers you love and more children you get to meet. Loves of love and hugs for you today friend :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, we are home now. Out final moments in Mrs. Vs class were a little bit of sadness and joy. I wanted to wait for you to say Hi, but I figured we would just grunt at each other through the tears. maybe next yr we can be a Tag Team and rock 1st grade. Have a great summa!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, we are home now. Out final moments in Mrs. Vs class were a little bit of sadness and joy. I wanted to wait for you to say Hi, but I figured we would just grunt at each other through the tears. maybe next yr we can be a Tag Team and rock 1st grade. Have a great summa!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Aww this post is making me want to cry thinking about my little girl starting kindergarten... and she won't even be starting it for another year. Yes, I'm overly dramatic and cry at the just the thought of them even going off to college and they are only 3 & 4.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh gosh...I'm super emotional lately, and this one got me. My little boy is just six weeks old and I'm already a mess over every new development he has because it means time is passing...and it's passing so quickly. I can only imagine what a big ball of emotions I'll be when school gets here! Congratulations to you both on making it through this milestone! And have such a fabulous summer :)

    ReplyDelete