The tide turns…

This was scheduled to post a couple of weeks ago, the morning Munchie began TK.  It disappeared and never posted, but last night I found it!  Since I took the time to write it, I thought I’d still share it with you.  And, by the way, my predictions were pretty spot-on.  🙂 xx

Today my sweet Munchie begins transitional kindergarten (TK).  This means her birthday falls too late in the year for her to meet the deadline for kindergarten entry in our state.  Our district has had a wonderful TK program (different from preschool and kindergarten, TK has its own curriculum) for years, but with the new law we don’t have the option of choosing if we want to place her in kindergarten or TK.

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Initially, not having a choice stressed me out.  I wanted to have a say.  She is, after all, my baby.  We could’ve kept her in preschool another year, but that didn’t feel quite right.   We could’ve kept her home this school year.  That didn’t feel like the best choice for her either.  And as her preschool days flew by, I realized that TK might just be a perfect fit for my girl and I started to relax.  I was reminded that there’s a reason for everything…and perhaps not having a say in this particular school decision was a blessing.

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So Munchie will walk to elementary school today in just a little while, snack bag in hand.  She will skip-hop along in her freshly pressed dress.  She’ll be sure to let people know that Amah and Papa gifted her that pretty little dress.  She’ll bend her ankle so the sun hits her shoe a bit to watch the pink sequins glisten.  She’ll hope that someone, specifically her teacher, will notice her fluffy “tutu socks” from Grandma.  She’ll point out other boys and girls walking with their parents to school.  She will squeal when she sees a dog and say, “I wish Duke could have walked with us” even though she knows the first day would be chaotic for her best buddy.

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And she’ll softly say to me, as she has for two weeks, that she’s feeling “just a little nervous.”  Nervous about not having any friends at this new school.  Nervous that she can’t eat her snack fast enough.  Nervous that she won’t remember how to spell the words she’s been practicing all summer.  Nervous that she’ll forget where the bathroom is.  Nervous that her new teacher will be too busy to hug her.  Nervous that she will be “too shy in the beginning to say anything.”

I’ll reassure her gently, but firmly because she does best with a soft yet confident touch when her nerves begin to get the better of her.  I’ll squeeze her hand a little harder so she can remember and “feel” it when I’m not there later.  And I’ll ask Time to stop for the two of us for just a while longer, please.  Time will ignore my request and we will continue our short journey to school.

Though Munchie will be nervous, I know when I begin my goodbyes and start my quick exit to avoid tears (mine), she will whisper that she misses me, but that she’ll be home soon.  She will squeeze me tightly because she knows that’s how I like my hugs.  Because she is my 4-year old with an old soul who senses my nerves and calms me when I should be comforting her.

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I’ll miss that little peachie those few hours a day, five days a week.  It seems silly to be so emotional, but I’m feeling time slip away even as I hold on with all my might.  Just another thing I have no say in.  See, while I’m confident my daughter will flourish and enjoy TK–as soon as I walk out that door, she’ll be making friends, learning, laughing, discovering–I’m feeling the tide begin to turn and my knee jerk reaction is to fight it.  I don’t do well with change.  But I’m smart enough to know I better embrace the changes coming my way.  I understand each season of life offers new challenges and new experiences and if I spend my time wishing and hoping for what has passed, I’m going to miss all the good stuff happening right in front of me.  And I can’t have that.

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I took this picture yesterday while we sat in the car waiting for Meet the Teacher Day to begin.  I hid behind sunglasses on the drive because I knew it was time to let go just a bit and I fought back a few tears.  And as Munchie chatted in the backseat I told myself to pull it together and show that little girl she can conquer the world one day at a time even when her tummy is filled with butterflies.

“Ready to go, sweetie?” I asked her.  Silence.  “Don’t worry…I got your back.”

“Yes, I’m ready…Wait! Take our picture, mommy!  Like this…with me behind you so you can look at it when you miss me tomorrow and see I got your back!”

31 thoughts on “The tide turns…

  1. Oh Danielle,You are an amazing writer! Thank you for the memories and tears…. You are so right. Embrace the change my friend! It’s hard. However life passes all too quickly not to enjoy it!

    1. Thank you so much, LaRie! That was a rough day for me. I have calmed down a bit since then LOL. But time just flies too darn fast, doesn’t it? Hugs to you, miss you!

  2. So well said, and I know just how you feel, my friend! My boys start (and start back) to school tomorrow – 1st grade already for my Roo and the first day of preschool for my little Monkey! So excited for them, but also so wishing time could stop, just a bit, for me.
    We have a program similar to your TK – ours is called Young 5’s – and we think it was absolutely perfect for our Roo. Academically and socially he would have been fine starting Kindergarten earlier, but he needed that extra year of maturity. And really, time is the only thing that can give him that, so we were grateful for the program and for that year of growing up he got before Kindergarten!

    1. Oh Beth hugs to you! I hope Monkey loves preschool and that Roo isn’t nervous for 1st. I agree with you about being in TK. I think Munchie could’ve handled K just fine, but I love this year she will get to be a little one for a bit longer and ease into school, maturing a bit. Have a great first week! xxx

  3. D that was so beautifully written and though many years ago I was doing with my only child. , my daughter, what you just described, while reading your words you took me back to those moments and feelings of long ago. You brought tears to my eyes my friend. Time is fleeting and as much as we try, we can’t slow it down . There will be many moments with Munchie yet to come . Embrace each one. This is the fabric of life being well lived . Xx

    1. Oh don’t make me cry all over again! LOL. I love that I’m able to share here and feel the connection with so many others who get it. 🙂 Time certainly is fleeting, as you said. I hope I remember to take each day and embrace it fully! It’s too easy to get caught up in the day to day rush and race. I’ll do my best. xxx Thank you for your kind words, J.

  4. Oh Danielle, you said it all so perfectly. Written from the heart with a mother’s love. Your words and the photos~just perfect. Absolutely beautiful!

  5. So, so, so beautiful and moving! I had tears streaming down and wondered how you read my heart. You are an amazing mother with such a precious daughter and you are blessed to have each other. Thanks for deciding to post this.

    1. You always get it and that’s why we get along so well! 🙂 We can blubber together next year! Thank you so much for your words, Abs–they mean a lot to me as usual. mwah! xxx

  6. What a kid! You put it all into perfect words. I don’t see how it is possible to deny ourselves the hard feelings. I’m horrible at it. I try to be strong for my kids, but it is also possible to teach them the lesson in being able to be honest with your feelings. I think that Munchie is going to have such a great time, you’ll enjoy her so much when she comes home and shares the new things she’s learning…But do cherish every moment, as I know you are, because for me, it has been the truest thing in life, to be a mother.

    1. I’m horrible at denying the hard feelings, too–I feel you for sure. I’m such an emotional person that Munchie sees my highs and some of my lows…some days I beat myself up for that, but in the end I think it helps her to “feel”…for herself and for others. Let’s see what she says about that when she’s my age. 😉 I love your words and appreciate them very much–“the truest thing in life…” Beautiful, Tammy. xxx

  7. You couldn’t have picked a better time to post this… As Mac begins kind. tomorrow! Sniff sniff. I cannot believe how BIG she is getting. Look at those LONG legs of hers. I love you both.

    1. Sweet Jes, BIG SQUEEZE! No way is Mac starting kinder tomorrow! I won’t have it! Although I’m sure the boys will have a great day, I hope the hours fly by so you can squeeze em and hear all about it asap! Love you! p.s. Oh those legs getting so long…I tried to freeze time and it didn’t work.

  8. What a sweet post! I know just how you feel…I hate that my kiddos are growing up so fast, and want to hang on to things a bit longer. But I also love seeing them grow up and learn to do things on their own. I love seeing my girl at school when I visit for lunch…she has her own little place and it’s great to see her interacting with all the other kids. It’s tough, this motherhood thing!

    1. I’m hanging on right there with you, Erin! But you’re right–it’s so fun to watch them grow and discover, finding their way and becoming their “own” person. I love that you see her during lunch–I bet that almost made you cry the first time! And yes, what a tough (albeit most rewarding) job we have. 😉 xxx

  9. I’m so glad you posted this! It’s beautifully written and I found myself getting teary! She is an old soul, and so loving and caring! She will love reading that one day and it might help her get through the experience when her turn comes!! Such special moments like this one will warm your heart in the years to come!

    1. Why thank you, dear Judith, my sassy friend! 🙂 She is my little old soul…I think I will print this for her 4th year scrapbook now that I see so many mamas/others connected…maybe she will like to read how I felt about this change in our lives. Thank you for suggesting it! xoxoxoxoxo

  10. I love that you are documenting via pictures and ‘the written word’ your feelings as you travel through motherhood … you will treasure them always as will your darling little girl when she grows older. Even though we have memories once our children are grown and in my case – grandchildren are all in college … looking back on your special words and feelings will bring joy to you all! Many blessings!

    1. Thank you for your comment/your words, Judy. Maybe one day she will read this when she’s a mama and know that I understand her heart. 🙂 I didn’t think about myself looking back on this and having it comfort me with memories, but now that you mention it, that makes me very happy. Many thanks for your words! xxx

    1. Wishing her a great day! And a hug to you. Those darn nerves! I bet they do never leave…that’s what my mom says. 🙂 xxx

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