One week from today is the day it all goes down.
She'll walk into a classroom and the two of them -- classroom and girl -- will be the same: ready to be filled with ideas. Kindergarten feels enormous, but I have a feeling each new year will feel enormous, right? Because each push forward is like a pull away. Stretching thin the lines of attachment but building anew the bridge of independence.
She'll walk among big kids and strange kids and mean kids and shy kids. Without a hand to hold. I think that's my main emotional tug right now: the 'what if she's scared?' tug. What if she's nervous or intimidated? It makes the tears prick at the back of my eyes, thinking of little Mia in the big world. Probably, I should be worried about more tangible things: how will she handle the work? Will she learn to read well? Will she hate math? Are the friends she's about to make going to be good?
But I'll worry about those things later (undoubtedly). For now, I'm just trying to hide any and all personal fears in the hopes that they won't bleed over into Mia's experience.
Because she is quite truthfully elated! Beyond excited, actually! So ready! Kindergarten will never have seen the likes of such an enthusiastic student!
Mia! Can you believe that one week from today, you'll be starting kindergarten?! My eyes are wide and encouraging to mask the bittersweetness of my joy. (I am joyful. So thrilled to see what this year of change brings into her personality and growth. Excited to know Schoolgirl Mia. I just need to be escorted through the murky puddles of worry first, to fully appreciate that joy.)
Is it one long week? Or one short week from today? she asks. I have no idea what she means, but I answer:
Today is Wednesday. NEXT Wednesday is the first day of kindergarten. Does that help?
Her eyebrows shoot skyward and her mouth pops open. NEXT Wednesday?! OOOooooohhhhhh YAY!! Her feet do a sitting-down dance, and she claps to the rhythm of her shaking body.
Across the breakfast table, Lauren adds her tiny, sweet voice to the conversation:
And mama? Wednesday I will start preschool?! Yay! I get to do preschool!
I sigh. I smooth her hair away from her cheeks. I nod and smile and begin a new conversation about how exciting preschool will be.
I keep forgetting, it seems, to remember all the important milestones and expectations of both children. Kindergarten has felt so overshadowing, but here is my littlest girl, entering a new phase of her own, ready to be built-up and encouraged.
There are too many new beginnings happening this year for my heart to understand: kindergarten, preschool, new baby...
I organize my schedule and my menu and my shopping list and my home. I keep track of appointments and dates and times.
Now how, on earth, will I learn to organize my scattered emotions in the midst of so much change?