Kindergarten’s First Day

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2, 099 days ago, I thought of this day. I thought you were the only true love-at-first-sight I’d experience in this sweet lifetime. I thought of my five year old self at sail on Dandelion, a wooden sloop in The Bahamas. My mom was my kindergarten teacher. I was sure on this day, this very day, you’d be bikini-clad, beside dolphins and living aboard some great boat.

Instead, today you woke early to the smell of bacon and walked your family to your new school.

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Today you played at a new playground.

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And today my tears started when I saw the first crossing guard of your new routine. Good thing I wear big sunglasses, huh? They might just be my very first tears of pure pride.

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Right after the bell rang, you stood beside your buddy Jasper and got in line. I asked you both if you were excited. It was clear fear had set in. In a deep breath you both whispered Um………. and apprehension was obvious. Jasper said Ahh……no.

Right at this moment, as I type, I’m sure you’re having a blast.

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Today you live on an island, kiss me on my cheek and tell me I’ll be alright. You say I have two sweet little sisters of yours to care for. You say I won’t miss you too much. After all, your teacher isn’t a stranger – she’s a mommy, too, and super nice. You’ve met her three times and you’re positive she’ll be fantastic.

sigh.

And yesterday, as this day approached I wanted to set the anchor in time. It was my last day to sleep in past nine, lazily romping about the house with three girls while skeeming for the day’s plans. Maybe there was a beach trip, and maybe there was nothing at all except more pajamas and maple syrup with afternoon waffles and silly songs sung while drawing.

Today, I’d like to go back to that drafty fir vixtorian floor where you took your first steps and stay a while longer. Just one more story, just one more wooden block tower to knock down. I’d like to go back to that prairie field where you rehearsed your first words. I’d like to begin with words that mean the same thing, perhaps with five different words for snow or happy. I’d like to go back here and throw one more rock into the waves:
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I’d like to soothe your deep memory of your first dog’s passing and turn the page back even further and take a few more pictures of you touching that miraculously bushy cookie-dough-colored tail.

I’d like to return to when you were an only child for just a moment. Perhaps on your 2nd birthday when I gave you the elephant that took me so long to knit. We ate waffles with candles for breakfast beside the fire. Who would have guessed Phanty would be your choice for Show and Tell on your first day?
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I’d like to put the moments when you first met each little sister on pause, then replay over and over.

I love your sense of humor, your instincts of helpfulness & compassion. What will you become?

Yesterday you said you wanted to be a doctor, only after Lucy said she wanted to be a fireman. You want her to live out her dream as a rescue hero and see your career choice as a true partner to hers. She’ll find who needs help and you’ll fix them.

Today, I hope you need your blankie for a little while longer. When you’re ready to give that up, I’m not sure I’ll make it with a dry eye. Maybe I’ll sleep with it that night.

Today, you’re one of my best friends. You’re going to do some great things in this wild, wide world. Today feels like the first step, and part of me wants to soften the ground.

Today I’m so glad I chose to stay home with you.

Today I’m so honored.

sigh.

I love you so much,

Mommy


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