Saturday, June 16, 2012

Up up and away.....

You graduated from Kindergarten today.  Wow.  I can quickly reel back in my mind to a time when we had a few years to figure out where you would be going to school, and now you've already completed your first year.....taller, stronger, more mature. You're growing up before my very eyes.

Your Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Prince, sent a letter home today.  It said: "Ten years from now if we meet on the street, your child and I, a light will shine to our eyes, a smile to our lips, and we shall feel the bond of understanding once more, this bond we feel today."  As I read this, it dawned on are on your own life's journey, just as I have been on mine all of these years.  You are collecting experiences all your own that will become your future memories. You will think back to your Kindergarten year, just as I think back to mine.

As the four Kindergarten classes gathered on stage to proudly sing their long practiced program for us, it was sweet to see each child with their own little sparkle.....their own way of looking for approval.  Their little countenances called out...."Someone is watching me.  Just me.  I feel special, and perhaps a bit shy."  Of course, this was acted out in all sorts of ways, from the exuberant to the poker faced.  

You were mostly straight faced. It may only have been Mama and Papa that could see the delighted smile cross your lips at some of the silly parts.....or the eyes that searched about to find us and to check for approval from time to time.  "Are you watching?  Do you see me?" they would say.  And, when your eyes connected with ours, it was almost as if you relaxed a bit.  

Afterwards, we all gathered for cookies and goodbyes in the gymnasium.  Pictures were taken...mostly with little girls who wanted their pictures taken with you (oh it starts).  Children clung to their parents instead of their friends.....a sign of your age and stage, but one that secretly makes me happy. 

We celebrated at IHOP, your choice, with Papa, your siblings, and Grandpa and Grandma B.  You actually read the card from Grandpa and Grandma, albeit slow and haltingly, but you read it!....a sign of the first grader you have become!  The whole way home, you and Emet excitedly chatted about what you would play when you got home.  I remember that feeling of complete freedom as a child....the day school was out for the summer.  FREEDOM. And what will you and your brother and sisters get into this summer? I can only imagine!  

Yet....part of you is so much like me.  It wasn't long we were home before tears welled up and you were racked with sobs crying, "I will never see Mrs. Prince again!"  Despite the reassurances, you are realizing at a deeper level that indeed - things will never be the same again.  She will likely never again be your teacher. You will never again be in that class, with those kids.....doing the routine that you have done day in and day out for the better part of a year.  Those are all simply memories now. As Mrs. Prince's letter read, "I give them back reluctantly, for having spent these months together in the narrow confines of a crowded classroom, we have all grown close, have become a part of each other, and we shall always retain a little of each other."  I so know this feeling, son.  That continual letting go.  Embracing change without weeping for the past is hard......allowing it to become a part of who you are, and knowing there will always be imprints on your heart from each experience.

As for me.....all of this is magnified as a parent.  Especially since you are my first baby.  You are the one with whom I am experiencing all of my own firsts as a parent.  With you I learn and grow.  Forgive me if I sometimes stare at you blankly when you ask me questions...."Can I do this....or that?"  "May I watch this or that?" .....or when you say something, and I'm processing if it's ok or not. The truth is....I don't know!  I'm figuring it out on the fly....often not anticipating or expecting the next move. 

But, one thing I can say, this.  I am proud to be your Mama.  And, as you shed tears while you move along the process....I'll be shedding them right alongside you.  Your goodbyes will be mine as well.  No matter how strong and independent you become, I will always be a part of you....and you of me.  I am your Mama, and there is no graduation from that.  I love you, my Sweet Boy.  

Happy Kindergarten Graduation! 

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