Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Kindergarten

My children are starting Kindergarten in 12 days.

I thought I was going to get to blow through this milestone without much emotion. After all, they have been attending and thriving in a 5 day a week preschool program for 2 years.  

We are changing schools, but their hours will be similar. The children are thrilled. They already know many of their classmates. They are familiar with their classrooms as a result of attending a couple of weeks of Summer day camp there for the last 3 years. Why would this be emotional?

I don't know why. I just know that it is.

This morning, I attended new parent orientation. As I learned 90 minutes worth of new school rules and routines I found myself feeling overwhelmed emotionally. I couldn't put my finger on it until the drive home.

Here's the thing: Although I have three children, in many ways it feels like three only children. Because K, P &R  are the same age, most milestones are simultaneously a first and a last. I have three different people, with three distinct personalities, quirks, strengths and weaknesses all going through major life milestones at the same time. It feels like I am 'drinking from a fire hose' much of the time. Then, just when I get the hang of whatever season we are in, it is over--never to be experienced again with children. Then, before I have much of a chance to catch my breath, we are on to the next thing.

I have thirteen more years (God willing) before these birdies leave the nest. Certain milestones just remind me that it is a process not a one time thing. Instead of ripping off the bandaid, there are almost 2 decades of slow tugs that pull and sting this mother's heart. 

I know this is part of being a Mama. My heart just feels tender. 

We have had a terrific Summer. This age is simply incredible. I am looking forward to the structure Fall schedules bring, but I am going to really miss time with my people. 

I know countless women before me and behind me have walked this road. It will be a growing experience for all of us. I just cannot believe we are already at this place. No more babyhood. No more toddlerhood. No more preschoolers. Bring on elementary school!

11 comments:

Turner Aycock said...

I'm not a mom, yet, but I am a Kindergarten teacher, so I've seen what you are going through.

Kindergarten is such a great age. I love seeing the progress my students make from that first day to the end of the year. They grow leaps and bounds academically, socially, and emotionally.

I have never thought about it being like you have three only children, but it makes sense. You are going through what other moms go through times 3.

Prayers to your family in this new phase of life :)

Best, Turner

Cathy said...

Treasure the three at once. You will only have to go through each grade of homework ONCE! Think of it as a blessing!

Jill said...

I know how your heart is feeling. My youngest is off to Kindergarten this fall too. After almost 14 years of having someone at home with me I will now be a stay at home mom all by myself.
When Miss A cried the other day about going to miss me, I had to hold back some of my own tears as not to crush her joy.
Deep down I know that God is going to use this "time" in some new way I can not yet imagine. But saying goodbye to toddlerhood/preschool years forever is hard!

Allison said...

Jennifer,
I will pray for you during this time of transition. It is an exciting and hard time all at once. I remember Mary Claire (my baby) heading off to Kindergarten 2 years ago (she was SO ready, I was SO not!). Mom gave me this verse that she says always comforts her in times of change:

Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

I will pray for you in this season of change. Thanks for your posts--they are always so touching!

Allison Powell

Ashley said...

Since I have read your blog for 4 years, I had tears in my eyes b/c I cannot believe the trio is going to Kindergarten! How exciting, but I can only imagine the emotions of being a mommy. My mom did the Kindergarten back to back b/c my brother and I are only a year apart. She probably felt the same at times. Praying for you as your little ones enter this next phase of childhood! Thanks for sharing a glimpse!

Blessings,
Ashley

Lisa said...

I don't often comment, but I enjoy your blog so much. This year is a transition year for me as well. My youngest heads to Kindergarten and as another commenter posted, I will be a stay at home mom by myself for the first time in 10 years. God spoke to me during the night last night....offering me His cushion of peace and understanding about letting a child go. This season feels unfamiliar and a bit scary to me, but I know He has a plan for us all...and it's a good one! Blessings to you during this transition time.

HW said...

Believe it or not I've actually thought of you during times of transition - how you do it all at once and then move on to the next "first" times three.

The only encouragement I can think to offer is each phase is magical in its own way. As they leave one wonderful phase they are passing into one that is just a different kind of wonderful.

My 19-year-old son is in Marine Corps Boot camp and I just received my first letter. His excitement and enthusiasm brought me to tears. You will always miss the phase that was yesterday but, trust me, the phase that is tomrrow will always take your breath away too.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

That tender heart is a beautiful heart, J. I think of you often, as you must feel like you're biting off huge chunks of life and then swallowing them whole. They are growing up. But they still have so many good years with you ahead.

Mary Lou said...

You do have such a tender heart towards your children and towards the things of the Lord...Take it from a Nana...I enjoyed each year and phase of thier lives..looked forward to school being out and then I looked forward to school starting. And as someone pointed out..you will only have to do one year of homework for one year..had my nine year old grandson ask me IF I could help him with third grade math...told him that I could probably do that, but after that I would be lost. So, in that respect you are blessed..only one year for each grade and not three years of each grade...triple blessing.

Erickson 5 said...

I could not have said this any better! Thank you for describing it in a way that makes so much sense. I loved the line "It feels like I am 'drinking from a fire hose' much of the time" I am going through the say thing...Sept. 8th is our start date and I feel the same way you do! Hang in there!

Catherine said...

I would love to know your process in selecting a K for your trio. My little guy is 2 yrs 8 mos and starting pre-school in a month and whole process of finding a school was bit agonizing for me.