Sometime in June of 2028, I will be another mother with tear-stained cheeks in a sea of other moms with the same doleful appearance. Each of us pulling tissues from our handbags to discreetly wipe damp eyes and noses. The fathers will stand next to us hiding their mixed emotions of sadness and pride, as they gaze at the stage watching their son or daughter shake hands with a school administrator while grasping onto the diploma they’ve worked for over the past 13 years.
As we watch our children graduate from high school and think about what is coming next in their life – a graduation party, a trip to the beach, a summer job, and the start of college or boot camp. It’s straight up overwhelming. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure that I will be able to discreetly hide the tears. If the experience is anything like the Kindergarten one, well then, get yourself a Costco membership and stock up on the bulk quantity of Gatorade and Kleenex, because this mama will need to rehydrate and clean up all of those tears.
I was expecting to feel emotions of sadness, I just didn’t expect it to be so intense. This should not be a surprise. Those that know me well, know that when I feel emotions, I FEEL. I commit to it. The sadness of not having Jane at home with me all day long was part of it, yes. However, the crux of Kindergarten was realizing that she will be learning independence, interaction with a larger group of students, conflicts with those students and the resolutions to them. The list goes on, but those were in the forefront of my mind. I know these skills are extremely important for little kids to have and I’m truly looking forward to the outcome. My hope (and let’s face it, fear) is that her sweet innocence, kindness, and heart are preserved.
It’s been a month since Jane started school and she has been loving it! Her teacher is Mrs. Hodgson and according to Jane, always wears dresses. And you know Jane is a fan of dresses!
The teacher also uses a pretty neat web and smart phone classroom management app called DoJo. The app is updated by Mrs. H, periodically throughout the school day giving each student a point for good behavior, following directions, and being safe, to name a few. She can also post photographs of the students doing projects (parent approval was given). It’s been pretty fun to “check up” on Jane through the day to see her progress. When I asked Jane what her 3 favorite things about Kindergarten were, she said: recess, playtime, and all the specials. Sounds about right.
After some communication with the teacher, the PTO, and other parents, Kindergarten has been pretty great – for all of us. Jane has always loved having a set schedule. So getting on and off the school bus at dedicated times, lunch at 11:15, reading in the mornings, handwriting and math in the afternoons with specials sprinkled in throughout the days makes her little scheduled heart flutter. I’ve been enjoying reading the books Jane brings home from the classroom with her in the evenings, hearing about all the fun things they do in the classrooms, and the convenience of having a school bus transport Jane to and from school.
In 13 years Jane will have graduated from high school, she’ll be taking on new challenges and adventures. I’m excited and mournful for what is to come. In the meantime, I’ll continue practicing being mindful of our lives together now.
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” – Thich Nhat Hanh