Registering your child for Kindergarten is a funny thing. Not funny as in ‘ha ha,’ so much, but more funny as in ‘it feels like my stomach is going to crawl out of my mouth and choke me’ while I forced one foot in front of the other up the front steps and into her new school to drop off the paperwork.
Everyone inside tried to act casual but it was obvious we were all nonchalantly sizing each other up. Whose child was the smartest? Who had read the most parenting books? Who would beat who in a cage fight? Looking around the room I knew that these were the parents of the kids who will have a major part in influencing, shaping, and encouraging my daughter for the next six years. “Please don’t let them be weird… er than me,” I prayed.
I tried to act normal as I smiled and made friendly chit chat with a few of the Moms about the school, the curriculum and our pre-school experiences but in my mind I was mentally transmitting:
If your child ever teases, embarrasses, or makes my child feel even the least bit sad I will cut you.
If your child doesn’t invite my child to her birthday party, I will find you. And you will pay. Oh yes… you WILL pay, my friend.
If your child ever offers my child an illegal substance, I will confiscate and probably enjoy it.
Everyone warned me this day would be here before I knew it. “The time will fly by!” They said. “Stop crying… she won’t be gassy forever!” They said. I remember holding her on my bed as a newborn and thinking how I couldn’t believe she was eight weeks old already. Then I started to panic thinking one day I would wake up she would be a year, and then I would turn around and she would be going to Kindergarten. A thought I quickly banned from my mind because five years from that moment seemed like an eternity.
But it’s not. It’s here. The past five years have been painfully slow and mind bendingly fast. A million things have happened, yet she was born yesterday.
Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. Because if she’s getting older then I’m getting older. And everyone says once they start school is when things really speed up. If the past five years went as fast as they did then before I know it she’ll be graduating. Then off to college. Then married. Then having kids of her own. And then before I know it I’ll be dead. And I don’t want to die! I’m only 37!
The past week we’ve been playing a little game I like to call “Memory Lane.” It involves me watching Ellie’s baby videos over and over while I cry, putting dolls in her old onesies and rocking them to sleep, and pulling out her old Baby Bjorn and trying to stuff her in so I can carry her around like old times. She has been indignantly resistant.
Anyhoo, here we go little Ellie. Just a few more months and you will be an actual kid in an actual school. If you can figure out how to escape the cage in the basement.