I’m a sucker and a crybaby when it comes to milestones, so for the whole summer, I’ve been preparing myself for a very big milestone in our household–sending Bridgette to off to kindergarten!
For those of you who are well on your way to watching your kids graduate from college, or have received your third grandchild, the first day of your child’s kindergarten may seem trivial in comparison. I believe life is a long journey though, and many important milestones are worth celebrating along the way. Their significance can only be measured in relative terms, and right now, kindergarten feels pretty darn important to us. 🙂
From shopping for back to school supplies to filling out the gazillion of paperwork for the school to reading them stories about the first day of kindergarten, I remained as involved as possible throughout the preparations. I have to admit, it was both daunting and enjoyable. Daunting perhaps, because it was a learning experience for myself, and learned I did! Who knew that there now exists 20 different sizes and types of markers? And how had I not have known that Try-Rex B21 pencils are more dependable than the good ole No. 2 pencils?
When we got back from L.A., we attended a school orientation where we got to meet the girls’ kindergarten teacher, and explore in their classroom. Their school actually resembles my elementary school quite a bit, so it was very nostalgic for me to see the tether balls, the carpeted classrooms, amongst other things.
My sister bought the girls matching outfits for their first day of kindergarten–2 sets of preppy collared short sleeve shirts and khaki pants. I laughed when I saw Bridgette in the outfit, because it so went against her free spirit, carefree personality. She’s more a t-shirt and shorts kinda girl, even though she still insists on wearing dresses everyday.
It’s been a little over a week now, and the girls are settling into kindergarten wonderfully. They’re meeting new friends, learning in creative ways, and opening their horizons to lots of new things. It seems like they’ve grown up overnight.
As for this mommy here, I am proud to report that I did not cry when I sent Bridgette to her first day of kindergarten! 🙂 When I watched Bridgette line up with the other children to get into their classroom, I couldn’t help wondering how long more I’d get to hold her little hand as we walk to school together. How long more before she will want to stop cuddling together at night as I read bedtime stories to her. Alan and I talk about this often. As much as we want to baby Bridgette forever, we know our job as parents is to raise her in a way that will cultivate her independence. Giving her the proper wings to fly goes against my instinct to keep her under my wings forever, but I know I will not be doing her any good by being an overprotective “helicopter” parent. Alan’s so much better at this than I am. I just keep wishing Bridgette could stay small longer….just a little longer….
What makes me happy though, is realizing that although my relationship with Bridgette will evolve as she grows up, every stage still holds promises of fun and fulfillment in different ways. With every new age comes new development, allowing us to embark on new adventures. I can’t wait for the day when we can go water rafting and hang gliding together, while having discussions over the same books that we read! 🙂