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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!”