So, some of you know that I’m more than a little worried about my son Tucker starting kindergarten on Tuesday (OMFG deep breaths). I’m worried that he’ll be picked on, that he’ll give up on the academics and language that he’s already behind on, and I’m beyond sad and sadsasd, that it’s the beginning of the end of his childhood.
It’s a milestone. Possibly and probably one that I’m having a much harder time coming to terms with than he is. The part that comes from what has been, to what is, to what will be, is unknown, and hardhard. But also beautiful and supposedto be.
Tucker has no idea what kindergarten means. And, let’s face it – neither do I, when it comes to his upcoming experiences.
Adults have a tendency to idolize childhood. It makes sense of course, especially as a parent. Witnessing our children experiencing childhood is likely much more magical and awe-inspiring than actually living childhood was for us, or is for them.
I think it’s okay to say right here, and right now, that it’s okay to be sad that our sons and daughters are moving on and up and into kindergarten. Our babies are entering a new and unknown realm, whether they are typical or have special needs and an IEP.
I cannot promise you that it will all be fine, any more than I can promise myself that it will be.
What I can promise is that all of us, with all that we have, will do everything we can to make it as fine as we can, and that even when we’re not doing enough, that we are doing enough.
For them, and for ourselves.
And when we can’t make it fine, we will look at alternatives and options and we will find the grace that exists in accepting that knowing and not being in control is okay.
When we don’t know, and are not in control, we will become the grace.
I think that I can promise that.
Through this panic and worry and impossible can’t breathe but breathing anyway place we’re in, we are going to listen and live.
We will try our best to pay attention and we will embrace this kindergarten thing like we’ve embraced all of the things. I have faith in us, mamas. I have faith that while we are terrified to leave them at school, that we will. We will have faith that they will be safe there, even though not all kindergartners have been.
We will have the grace to accept that we need to have faith. We will climb to the top.
And we will run and play and celebrate and live.
I can also promise that all of us, on this cusp that we’re on, did something this weekend to mark the end of summertime, and the beginning of the end of childhood as it exists in our lives.
For some of us, it may have meant an extra kiss at bedtime, or the fact that we studied the features in our aging child’s face once he finally fell asleep, identifying the baby-hims in it. Seeing that the shape of the skin beneath his eyes is still the same, and noticing that the innocence and the beauty is there, although changed and more aware.
Some of us may have made the last-minute decision to go to (another) amusement park this weekend, knowing that it was possibly more for us than for our baby who is no longer a baby.
Here, loves, are the moments that witness my own son’s grace. And in his, I see my own.
I am so very very thankful. For him.
For all of it.
For the grace, and the fear, too.
For the amazing places that mean that summer has not been forgotten and that summer has been celebrated. That Charlie Brown is loved in the heat, as well as in the snow of his Christmas special.
That we will continue to seek thrills, together:
That sometimes, even though the hurt of “I am moving on without needing you, mom” means flying:
And jumping, and landing softly…
And that it also means being able to climb out.