Friday, August 20, 2010

First Day of Kindergarten

Today I took Avee to Kindergarten. Tiny, sweet, Avee. I started blogging on her first birthday. Granted, it was about Bo--but he was this hilarious little two-year-old at the time.

As I walked away from her classroom, she was sitting on an alphabet carpet with her little princess lunchbox in her lap, and the tears started to flow. I was entirely unprepared for that. ENTIRELY. I have felt some nostalgia and some pangs of sadness at this chapter in our lives ending, as a new one begins, but I did not expect tears.

My letter to Avee on her first day of Kindergarten.

Dear Avee,
You have been apprehensive, skeptical, and outright uninterested in going to school. This attitude about school is somewhat foreign to me. You are a perfectionist in some ways---some really strange ways, so I guess it makes sense. You like to be sure of yourself, you like to have the answers, you don't like feeling shy or facing the unknown. But you also don't believe us when we tell you that very quickly you will see just how many answers you have, how many friends you will have, and how you will love going to school every day. You absolutely think we are lying to you.

Today when I woke you up for school (do you know how much it kills me to have to wake a child up?!) you threw the pillow back over your head like a hung over college student. It totally cracked me up.

You had a new pretty outfit to wear and that got you going a little bit, but once the cute outfit was on and the shiny new shoes were on, the thrill was over.

We were in a rush, I wish I could have pulled you on my lap and snuggled you just a little longer. I wish I could have whispered just a few more times in your ear what a great kindergartner you will be. I really wish I never had to let you go.

Here's a little secret Avee. I want you to stay home with me just as much as you want to. I want you to "be my baby for 80 years" just as much as you want to be. I want to hold you, snuggle you, rock you, never let you go. But one of the difficult parts of growing up is doing things you may not want to but are the best for you. You are growing up!

You don't know that tears streamed down my face as I walked away from your classroom this morning. I know if you had seen that, it would have been all the evidence you'd need to never go to school again. I knew you were okay. I knew you were in good hands. I know that your teacher will love you and protect you and teach you. I know without a doubt that you will love Kindergarten.

I felt silly crying, but everyone around me knows how it feels. Someone told me "College is worse!" and another said, "You still cry even when you are a Grandma" And one of mom's friends called out to me and it was nice to have a friend who knew I wasn't a big baby and knew what it was like to let a little girl go to Kindergarten by herself. Then another friend gave me a hug and reminded me that you would be just fine. Even though I know this, and I tell you all the time, I still need to be reminded.

From the moment you were born you have brought me new life experiences. You were a tiny, perfect little bundle of sweetness. You scored a perfect 10 on the Apgar. We only kind of knew what that meant, but the doctor and nurses said with some incredulity, "She scored a perfect 10, that hardly ever happens!"

We knew you were a perfect 10. We weren't surprised at all.

As a newborn you insisted on being near me, even when you were asleep. If I left the house while you were sleeping, I could almost count the seconds before I'd get a phone call, "Avee's awake and inconsolable."

You have always known what you wanted and have always managed to get it, one way or another. When we implemented a "eat your dinner or go get ready for bed" rule, you made getting ready for bed at 5:30 pm the new hot, cool thing to do. When you broke your leg, you made other kids wish they had a cast. You made cast walking a new art form and could slide a good two feet down the hallway of the YMCA. You are sweet and kind-hearted and strong-willed and hot-tempered. You don't get mad easily but when you do, you really blow. It's really quite cute. But I usually don't tell you that.

You didn't want to turn three because you wanted to wear diapers forever. You insisted you were four "pour" because you wanted to be able to use markers at the YMCA childcare center. You potty-trained in a day without any help from me because you wanted a bike. You still ask to sit in high chairs at restaurants. You love and nurture and care for Danyo like he's your own child, but you whacked him good yesterday when he kicked you in the face. You adore Daddy, but not when he tells you what to do. You are obedient, opinionated, smart, hard-working, funny, and quirky.

Every day is like a little surprise with you. I think I have a handle on you, and I never really do. You keep the rules to the letter on some things, and you make rules up on other things. Like, how many days in a week is arbitrary, and whether or not I should go to work really should be your decision. But you brush your teeth like a champ without being asked, always put on pajamas the first time you are asked, know how to clean the living room like no other 5 year old, and get annoyed when we leave lights on at night so you won't be scared.

Not getting to be with you all day every day is sad for me. I love to be with you. I love your hugs, your kisses, your rule making ("If I brush my hair, then you have to buy me some chocolate today at the store") your insistence that you haven't had breakfast so you can't have lunch yet, your tenderness with Danyo, your tv addiction...

I know there are so many good years of wonderful in store with you as my daughter. I am sad that the "baby" years are officially over today. You will always be my baby, but now I have to share you.

You've been in school for an hour and a half. I got an email and a phone call telling me that you have a big smile and look like you are just fine. This is what I knew would happen, but I'm so happy to have confirmation.

Happy First Day of Kindergarten my little love!
Love, Mom
p.s. I really got a kick out of you saying over and over that today was Bo's 2nd day of 2nd grade.
p.p.s You probably won't remember this, but Bo was SO excited for you to start Kindergarten today, it was really tender. He knows you will love school and he's so happy to have his sister at his school.


Lisa said...

I wish I had a blog when my kids went to kindergarten because there was no journal writing.

I hope she had a great first day and so did Danyo with his mama all to himself!

Lisa said...

Also-What a cool school to email you a picture and/or a note on the very first day!

Barnecked Lady said...

um I'll have to come back and read this later, something is in my eye!

NOBODY said...

Lisa--I am glad for this blog for that very reason! It wasn't the school, it was a really awesome teacher (Bo's teacher last year) that emailed me, and a friend. All I saw were the Avee-style dirty looks I posted on here. :)

Amy---HAHAHHAHAHA!! I love your comments.

Rebecca said...

um.. I am with amy.. about to walk out the door to meet the teacher night..and I can't go with..uh..something in my eye.. or I'll I have allergies..great..will come back to this post and finish it on Monday..after I drop my baby off to kindergarten..dang it...dust in my eye again..

Adolescent Family said...

I can't believe she is in Kindergarten! It seems like last week she was just coming into nursery and I was telling you how incredible her coloring skillz were!

That pic of her and BO is seriously, you and J! :) cracks me up!!! so cute!

mycurlyhairdays said...

So beautiful!!
You are amazing!
We love you guys!
Oh, Avee, you are going to be awesome!!!!!!
You already are!

Super Happy Girl said...

It's too early for you to make me cry!
Dang it Nobody.

And then she's dressed so pretty too.

Sarah Tilley said...

how sweet- i wish i had the foresight to write letters to henry. of course, i'm not nearly as verbose or thoughtful, so it'd come out something like, "love you, kiddo, have fun and don't be a weasel to your teacher."

i have discovered that while i'm happy that henry's growing up and learning stuff in school, i can't go by myself to the park and hang out with the other moms anymore because i miss him too much.

Tyla said...

I enjoyed this post so much and loved the little shirt she wore. How darling! My little boy started kindergarten this year, too. Fun times.

Amy said...

Love it. I keep a journal for each of my kids that I write to them in. I started when I was pregnant so the first few pages are mostly blaming them for my sickness, aching and pains.

Suzanne said...

What a sweet letter! I've felt the same way in the past and I'm sure I will again when my little girl turns 5. Hopefully the ache of having her gone will ease soon! ***hugs***

Tori said...

Why am I crying?? She's YOUR kid!
Beautiful letter Mom. Will you write me a letter?

Klin said...

Her outfit is so darling. You made me cry. Dang it. Took me back to my days of sending off Kindergartners.

I love reading your letters to your kiddos. You really have a way of capturing the very essence that endears them to you and then to us.