writing and rewriting because i'm feeling such an incredible mix of emotions tonight... i'm going to try it like this...
tomorrow you start kindergarten. i don't think that has fully sunk in for any of us, just what that means. i can tell you are feeling excitement balanced with an understandable amount of nervousness. i am too. for the longest time i've felt okay about you going to kindergarten, but now as the time has finally come, i'm realizing that my baby is no longer a baby, and that's a hard one for mama to swallow.
i am excited to watch you take the next step on this amazing journey that is your life. you have become such an incredible boy. there are moments of frustration and emotion that we need to help you to figure out how to better express, but in general you are a kind boy. you love your brother and sister so deeply that it makes my heart ache. you are so bright and imaginative. you craft the most elaborate stories and draw such detailed maps. you are learning to read, understanding math, and take pride in learning new things. you are so eager to learn. like a sponge, you take it all in, and then repeat it back to me when i least expect. if you say i said or did something, i fully believe you. your memory is remarkable and i truly hope that it serves you well as you move forward in school.
you love life. you love people. you want to make friends and i want you to make friends. i know that this is the real first step on your journey of becoming the person you will be. everything before this did matter, but it was different. you are now entering the bigger world. one where you will share a school with fifth graders. one where you will meet people who you may go to school with until you are 18. one where you will begin to discover who you are and who you want to be.
but i worry too. i'm your mom, so that's my job. i think part of it is that i can't walk in your shoes, i can't be there to keep an eye on you or see how it goes. i know that in preschool you would sometimes tell me you played by yourself or you'd ask someone to play and they didn't want to. those images are heartbreaking, and i always told myself it wasn't actually that bad but just the interpretation of a child. but what if that happens in kindergarten? or what if you feel too shy or vulnerable to make friends? my saving grace is knowing that our neighbor david is in your class, so you will hopefully feel less alone. and i know what i'm doing is projecting - i was a painfully shy child, and it was terrible. i don't want that for you because i know how hard it is. i don't need you to be mr popular or even have a ton of friends.
what i mostly want for you is what i didn't have as a child - the confidence to be you and love you and make other people love you. of course, i also want to see you thrive academically, but i know that will be the easy part for you. you know all the basics, letters, numbers, concepts... you can do basic math and are starting to do basic reading. those concrete things are easy to learn. learning to believe in yourself is harder but we know that you can do anything you put your mind to. i want for you to know that WE believe in you and will always be here for you.
this next step is scary. it's big. it's the end of one chapter, and the beginning of another.... my friend recently blogged about missing the lasts because you never know they are the "last" until it's too late. tonight i knowingly kissed you goodnight for the last time before you wake up in the morning a kindergartener. i smelled your hair and the felt the squish of your cheek on my lips.
and now i sit here looking at old posts, trying to remember holding you, kissing you for the first time. and i do. even if it's my mind playing tricks on me because i've looked at the pictures a million times.... but i remember crying in the OR when i first laid my eyes on you and later being wheeled into recovery where your daddy was cradling you, looking so lovingly at our little miracle, and then putting you into my arms. it feels like a million year ago. it's hard to believe you will be six in october, yet i feel like i've known you my entire life...
you have a part of my heart always and forever little boy. i know that you will be safe, you will grow, you will learn. you will continue on the path to becoming an amazing person. we have high expectations for you and i know you will reach them. on this eve of starting kindergarten, i will only allow myself to briefly mourn the past, and will focus on the pride and joy you bring to my heart, and how i look forward to watching you grow and learn in the year(s) to come.
my love forever,