Today is the last day of Kindergarten for the big kid. And while he is excited for all of the fun we will have this summer, he's also sad that school is over. No more math, no more reading, no more homework. Is this really my kid? Needless to say, it's a happy day for this mama.
Yes, I am absolutely thrilled that today was the last day (for a while, at least) that I will hear the alarm sound at 5:40 AM. Thuh-rilled. (I am quite positive that everyone is sick of my talking about what time I have to get up on Monday through Friday). And I am really happy at the prospect of having my kids together to play and smile and giggle all summer. I'm happy for playdates with old friends, evening bike rides around the lake, running through the sprinkler and adventures through the neighborhood.
But, I'm sad, too.
Remember how emotional I was on the night before the first day of Kindergarten? Well, last night, the feeling was similar. My head swirled and flurried with thoughts of the past six years. Milestones, memories, moments that went by too fast. How did this little boy grow so fast? From bald to a head of curly hair, from someone who fit inside my belly to almost the height of my shoulders? How did nine months of school fly by so fast? And six years? Why does this, the very best time of our life, have to whiz like a clock set to double time? It was a momentous year. It was full and wonderful and happy. Leaps and bounds were made. Skills were learned, increased, mastered. New friends were made. There were science fairs and field trips, music programs and art shows, bus rides and carnivals. And so much more. So much has happened since the end of August and yet, it feels like it has only been several weeks since we put him on the bus and then jumped into the car to meet him at the front door of the school.
We sent his teacher's gift with him yesterday and after school, he presented me with a lovely thank you note that made my heart swell. And yes, tears crept in. Because it was so kind. Because I was so pleased that she was touched by our gift. Because she called our family, "awesome". Because I had prayed for a teacher who would be engaged and gentle and
supportive and encouraging and also sensitive and careful about his
severe food allergies. His teacher was these things and more. And, because our big kid, after today, will never be in kindergarten again. Sigh.
I often joke that if I could put a brick on my kids' heads to stop them from growing, I would. My husband, the black and white thinker, the literalist, shakes his head and reminds me that this is their job--to grow--and our job is to guide them through that. Darnit. I hate when he is right. Not to worry, it doesn't happen very often. ; )
The sadness is silly, really. It's not a real kind of sadness. It's a selfish, self-centered kind of sadness. It's a "I love my life so much right now that I don't want to give up a single ounce of it" kind of sadness. My heart aches for time to go slower, so I can enjoy every morsel, savor every breath, commit every single millisecond to memory. But my mind knows that there is more joy to come. Oh, so much more joy awaiting. That with their growth, these children just add more and more to our lives.
So this morning, I pledged to indulge my melancholy no more, bidding adieu to Kindergarten with fondness and looking ahead to sunny days spent laughing, playing, and yes, enjoying every morsel.
Welcome, summer! Bring on the arboretum, the jungle gym, and the homemade popsicles dripping down over tiny fingers! Bring on the sunshine--in all its wonderful forms!