My daughter is five. In less than three months, she will enter Kindergarten.
The sad, pensive expression on her face on the first day of pre-school still echoes in me. As much as she talked about her desire to go to school, when I dropped her off, she shrieked and cried, begging me not to leave. “Please stay Momma, please stay. I change my mind. I don’t wanna go to school.” For thirty minutes, I lurked outside the window of her new class room, peeking in so that she couldn’t see me. Big alligator tears fell down her cheeks and she kept telling her teacher, “I want my Momma.” After a short period of time, she calmed down and began to explore her new surroundings. The teachers convinced me that this anxiety and crying was a part of the adjustment phase, tears would turn into laughter.
I know it is such a cliche, but time goes by so fast. That fearful little 3 year old is now a vibrant, young little lady, who enters the class playground with laughter. Some mornings she forgets to give me a hug because she is too excited and wants to jump on the swing with her friends. When she comes homes from school, she tells me that after recess, she told her teacher, Mrs. O, that she loves her. She talks about making volcanoes and describes the red gooey stuff, which in her speak, is called lawa. Last week, without any prompting from me, she wrote her numbers, from 1 to 100 and read a mini-book. She helps me make her lunch, clears the dinner table, and reminds me that we need to pick out her clothes for the next morning.
Her personality is hard to contain, the shy little toddler is now a vibrant, opinionated, joyful little girl. She has opinions and observations and she isn’t afraid to share her thoughts with anyone. Sometimes when I offer help, she flatly tells me, “Momma, I can do it by myself.” There are more periods of time, when she doesn’t need me to be in the room with her. Everyday she acquires new companions, whether they are friends, words, numbers, crayons, and particular toys.
I am learning everyday that I am not the sole center of her universe.
But as moves on to Kindergarten, I know a part of her will still need me. As we prepared for her last day of preschool, her front tooth wiggled and was loose enough to be pulled out. My fingers tried to give it one last tug so that it would fall out. The process of course wasn’t smooth with plenty of tears, hugs, and yes, little droplets of blood. As it fell out, my daughter said to me, “Momma, please be gentle.”
Those words stayed with me throughout the morning. Part of me wanted to whisper back to her, as you grow older, please be gentle with me too.
As a mother, was it a difficult transition to watch your children move from Pre-K to Kindergarten? What are the things that your children tell you that surprise you? What ways do they demonstrate their independence?
For better or worse, my big kid experienced no anxiety going to school. That’s probably because he’d been in some type of out-of-the-home childcare since he was six months old. He has developed anxiety over new social situations but seems to have no problems when it comes to school. I hope your sweet girl has a similar reaction this time around.
I am glad to hear that your son had no problem transitioning into school. I hope that my daughter eases into Kindergarten the same way. We will see in August!
My older son asked to go to school. In fact, he begged! And took to it immediately. My younger – much more shy (and tiny) – adjusted a little more slowly, but with no problems nonetheless. (I think it’s harder on the parents.)
Enjoy all these moments! They’re very special. But there are many many more ahead! More firsts, more explorations, more journeys together.
Cheers to more firsts! I know you are celebrating your own firsts, with scholarships and college admissions for your own sons.
Good Lord, Ru – you are bringing out the tear jerkers lately! I just can’t believe where the time goes, for us all! Also – funny, Cadence just lost her first tooth this week, and she is a full year older! We will be wrapping up Kindergarten this next month. So bittersweet!
This is N’s third tooth to fall. But it seems so signficant because there is a gaping hole that you can’t miss. I can’t believe Cadence is finishing up Kindergarten. I still remember the two them playing in your home in Austin in their footed long sleeved onesies. Time is so fleeting!
Rudri, she will always need you. It changes the way they need us but they always do. Many more special moments that you will share together in this beautiful journey. xo.
I know. I think it is adjusting to how they need us that proves difficult at times. Thanks for your well wishes Ayala.
I was just pulling together some photos as my son will be Person of the Week next week. I have vivid memories of so many things in the last four years and am feeling hopelessly unable to keep up with the years going achingly fast.
I have one more year before I can tell you what the transition is like but already, I’m feeling like I’m looking back more than I used to and not looking forward as much like I used to.
Person of the week? That sounds like a great idea.
I find myself saying, remember when she did that? instead of I can’t wait until she does . . .
It’s reconciling the present with the past. Haven’t found a way of doing that. . .
She lost a tooth already?! Holy cow, I am not ready for that. My daughter will start kindergarten a few months after we come back from Romania. And I imagine it will be a piece of cake (for her) after conquering a new culture and communicating with friends who speak a different language. But that won’t make kindergarten any easier on me! Be gentle indeed.
I am certain she will assimilate well into Kindergarten. And you have at least one more year to prep for it. I’m certain, right now, your trying to conquer the whole Romania thing first. Baby steps – that is what I keep telling myself.
I can’t believe N already lost her first tooth! Anjali is still in the shy toddler phase, but reading this article makes me realize how fast she will grow up. Hope she’s as happy and well adjusted as N :-).
Thanks Manju! I’m certain Anjali will be a lovely little lady. Relish all your time with her because it passes by so quick that you won’t even have a chance to do a double take. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
I’m convinced that in some ways, they need us more as they grow older and I find solace in that. Because as they grow, they become more themselves and we get to revel in watching it and talking with them about it.
I know they will need us as they grow older. I look forward to conversations with my daughter. Thanks for the compliment.
Matthew is moving on to Kindergarten too…and I’m elated for him but sad for me. It’s so hard. I’m sure your little one is ready just like mine is though!
Some days she is more ready than other. She talks about all the things that she will miss about pre-K.
Cliches exist for a reason. In this case, time does go by fast (except for those long afternoons when it doesn’t, right?). I remember longing for the preschool days, and now they’re forever over for me.
I know it will go by so fast. Five years have moved by so quickly that at times I am bewildered that she has demands, feelings and sometimes very adult conversations. Thanks for stopping by!
Oh yes! Please be gentle with me. That’s what I want my kids to know.
I hope my daughter remembers the importance of gentleness when she turns sixteen…. 🙂
Neither of my boys cried about starting school, and they couldn’t wait to ride the bus. They have always eagerly tried new things while I watched with trepidation, but I’m glad they are braver than I ever was. Time flew by incredibly fast, but even as adults they let us know now and then they need (or want) us. It’s wonderful yet sad when they hit full independence.
I suspect Suzicate that they follow the footsteps of their mother and father. Through your posts, I know your streak for adventure – so I am not surprised that they seek the same.
I have cracked up many times in the past day, looking at her pic. It is so sad, sweet and hilarious at the same time. It must be exciting and hard seeing her expand her world….
After reading this comment, I looked back at her pic. It is pretty funny. There are so many emotions going on at the same time. I think she isn’t quite sure which emotion should prevail.