Monday, September 3, 2012

Letting Go

smokey the chicken (only you can prevent scrambled eggs)

We are blessed.  Our child is a happy, healthy (whisper that, will you? don't want to tempt the evil spirits) five year old.  Our sparkly-blue-eyed, sun-kissed-beach-haired, gecko-watch-wearing, toy-rhino-toting child.  He reads, he writes, he's creative, funny, and knows more dinosaur species than I ever did.  He's now acquired a top 5 Phillies players list as well as a working list of birthday requests (for next year).  He loves Legos, all animals, playing games, doing underwater flips, and wowing you with his soccer skills, baseball abilities, and dance moves (of course only to be done while he sings).

And tomorrow, I must take him to kindergarten.

Alternatively, tomorrow, I also get to take him to kindergarten.

A simple matter of perspective, you see.  On my left shoulder, I have the gentle but appreciative voice, the one that reminds me that a few decades ago, I might not have been here for this important day.  This is the same voice that pipes up, recounting Mary Tyler Mom's story of daughter Donna (not a happy ending, but life-changing and worth a read during this, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month), who never got to go to kindergarten.

On my right shoulder, there is the nag.  She is a constant in my ear, bringing up all the worst case scenarios.  She is the future projector, glass half-empty kind of gal.  Basically, she sucks.  She tells me we might not get to do the first day of kindergarten again - this is a one shot deal - so I better not muck it up.

I can't freeze time anyway, so I have no choice but to go with it, let it carry me, a lunchbox, a backpack, and a little boy around the corner and down the street tomorrow morning.  I must beg it to help me not cry until he is inside the building.  I will have to focus on my own To Do list, getting prepared for my own fresh start this school year, and how freaking annoyed I was with the same kid home all rainy day today.  He needs school and I need him to have school; why is it so damn hard?

I am sending my very warmest hugs to all of the other parents in the same position, who are both dreading and longing for the start of school all at once.  This year, for the first time since forever, I'm not setting up my classroom, labeling folders and notebooks for my students, or passing out at 4:30 from the exhaustion of hauling book-filled milk crates out of storage.

This September is about new beginnings.

And away we go.

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