It seems like it was just last week I walked my little girl in to Kindergarten. And yet now, in a blink of an eye, she was saying goodbye to Kindergarten. While I knew she was more than ready to start Kindergarten, I still knew this year would be filled with many “new”s: she started a new school, venturing away from the preschool where she was already well-known; which also means she made new friends, whom she embraced with her big heart and they she; new teachers, all of whom she seems to like, her classroom teacher the most!
In the last nine months, she’s become an even stronger reader, mastering even more sight words, gained more confidence as a reader, began to experiment with spelling, finished writing her own book, began formerly learning Spanish, learned how to skip count by 2s, 5s, and 10s, learned how to add numbers in her head, almost mastered shoe tying (gonna keep that on our summer checklist!), and grew by leaps and bounds in ways I never imagined!
I’m not sure what it is about Kindergarten in our present culture that invokes such sentimentality, but I will gladly testify to its strength. We weep when our babies start Kindergarten, whether they do so as the king of the hill in a preschool setting, or as the littlest guys in an elementary school setting. We weep because Kindergarten signifies that our little babies are no longer our little babies, and that, with each step they take towards their school, they take a further step away from our safe and comfortable arms, away from our safe world where we can control and protect them. They take a step further towards leaving the proverbial nest.
My little girl can now be considered what she calls a “grader”. Wow. How on earth do I have a first grader on my hands?! That I’m not sure, but I do know that, as I watch my little girl grow up -a girl with a heart bigger than any ocean- I’ll mourn the loss of each previous stage, watching small slivers of her childhood slip away, while also celebrating the little person she is becoming. And she is quite a cool little person.
So, here’s to a wonderful year in Kindergarten, to all the excitement this summer may hold, and to the wonders that await us next year in first grade.
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