Freckles in April: Kindergarten Eve

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Kindergarten Eve

I'm just not sure how he's not THIS anymore.

I knew my babies would grow, yet I still find myself vaguely perplexed when a fully fledged 5-year-old comes tearing into my room each morning. His eyes are blue like mine but his face shape is all his father's. It used to hint at my roundness, but in the past year or so it has lengthened, just like the rest of him. He's always been a boney little thing, but lately it's a different kind of boney. He looks stretched, sometimes a bit pinched. He's become a hearty eater, matching me bite for bite, helping for helping at most meals. Sometimes he stays at the table long after the rest of us have finished, polishing off thirds, fourths, fifths; fueling the growth that causes his ankles to stick out past the hem of pants that are, strangely, still too large in the waist.

I knew this was a very short, very precious time in our life together. A time with no alarm clocks, no agenda. Blissfully blank calendar squares that shrug at me each morning and say, "Whatever you want, you have nowhere else to be." Library story time, splash pads, frozen yogurt, naps, afternoon movies, Costco trips, couch snuggles, popcorn at 10pm because we're all still awake and, eh, why not.

I've been reveling in this time. Backstroking leisurely through it. Trying to ignore the glowing red expiration date that suddenly feels so close as to be almost menacing.

I'm glad I've recognized it for what it is while still in it: a gift. A precious, amazing gift. Endless, uninterrupted time to build him up, fill his belly-bucket with love, teach him that himself is the best thing to be.

Except, it's not so endless. We now find ourselves standing at kindergarten eve. Our late nights followed by lazy mornings will vanish in a swirl of bed times, early-morning alarms, breakfast before school and the frantic scramble for shoeshomeworkpencilsbackpack. Instead of a long, blank day stretched before us all ready to be filled up with whatever we want, he will be gone. Seven hours without my freckled sidekick.

From my maternity shoot with Baby 2

During the long, tortuous weeks of age three, I actually did some Google searches for boarding schools that might accept the monster my sweet baby had become. A few hours. weeks. months (if only!) without him sounded paradisaical. Fortunately, on the other side of three lays four. Creeping right behind that comes five and five brings sweetness, thoughtfulness, a real sense of humor. And since I now have another baby entering the dead-zone of age three, that sweet five-year-old humor is awfully nice to have around.

Sporting a noodle necklace while hiking.
I never thought I'd cry when my baby started kindergarten. I pictured myself gleefully waving goodbye on his first day then screeching out of the parking lot to go spend some quality time peeing alone.

(Although, I'll still have my 3-year-old barnacle at home, so using the bathroom alone is a total pipe dream.)

In March we found out he got into our number one school choice. When I took him to get registered and saw him walking through those halls, hands tucked carefully yet confidently in his pockets, I cried. Not a sniffling, proud mama cry either. Full-bellied tears tumbled down my cheeks while I frantically sponged at them with my sleeves, desperate that my tender-hearted, empathetic son not see me crying and associate this wonderful, amazing place with my tears. I loved school and I was filled with a sudden, overwhelming need for him to love it too. As much as I am going to miss our unhurried way of life, I am thrilled for him. His school is amazing and I know that those seven long hours away from me and his adoring younger brother are going to be magical.

Getting him registered then celebrating at Smashburger

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  1. This is so tender. It's hard to be a torn between wanting them to grow and learn and experience and wanting them to be little and sweet and yours forever.

  2. This is such a sweet post, Kayla! I so know that feeling. Now that both of my kids are in school, life is so full and fun and busy ... but I do sometimes miss those simpler, more relaxed days when mommy and home were the center of their world. I find myself really appreciating having more time together now that it's summer. (BTW I am a terrible commenter, but I still enjoy following your blog from TN and your Paris posts have me longing to plan a trip abroad!)

  3. You give me hope that there is a rainbow at the end of 3!!!!!

  4. This is so sweet. I really enjoy your more personal posts (although the fashion ones are great too!), and your writing is really accessible and lovely.

  5. Loved are a beautiful writer, I love hearing about your family. And goodness...he is adorable!

  6. This is so beautifully written! Even now with an almost second grader (SOB!) I still feel this sadness often when sending him off to school. The good news is that he not only loves school, but he also loves every day off we get to spend together snuggling, hanging out in pj's, or heading out for an adventure. When summer is coming there are so many moms I see scrambling around for summer camps, but we purposely don't schedule much so we can relive those carefree preschool days. They aren't gone!! It just takes some diligence to make sure every day isn't scheduled when those breaks come along.

  7. I love this post and love even more that you included the part about three year olds. Because I have a three year old and hooooooo boy when people write blog posts about the blissful ness of being a mom I just feel guilty and a little grumpy.

  8. I love this so much. I can only imagine that your summers off will be epic.

    And now I'm going to carpe the diems a bit more before the school schedules crush my soul. :)

  9. He is an adorable little boy! You make me long for the day when I can have a baby. :)

  10. Ok this post really helped me actually. I've been struggling with my angel of a 3 year old of late. Most days I feel like I'm living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and the monster toddler has been rearing it's ugly head an awful lot lately. But that paragraph about age 3 gave me hope that maybe Jekyll will win out soon. Thanks for that.

  11. oh my gosh. his little walk with his hands in his pockets. it kills me!

  12. And I'm sobbing. So there's that. Oh, I hope he loves it!!! For him and for you.

  13. This is lovely. Thanks for sharing. As a mom and a public school teacher, it is so nice to have parents excited and invested in their kiddo's education.

  14. I really enjoyed this post. I'm wondering what school he'll be going to. Amelia will be heading down this path soon and I'm overwhelmed with the choices that are available. Any advice?


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