Dear Parents of new kindergarteners,
Remember the first day.
The day your “baby” takes the school bus for the first time, or the day you drop him off at school, hold his still-chubby little hand in yours, and then choke back tears as you let go.
But also remember that you’re not really letting go. Or at least that you’ve let go before, and happened upon an amazing new world because of it. Remember when baby learned to roll over, and you recorded it 18 times and sent it to all your friends and family because, clearly, he was the most talented baby on the planet? Or when he took his first steps, and you held your arms out in excitement and support? You may have let go physically, but you are becoming an even stronger support emotionally.
Kindergarten goes by fast. All the years do. I remember the hardest thing about seeing my boys graduate kindergarten was that they started the school year with soft, bouncy, round cheeks – baby cheeks! – and by the end of the school year, they were little boys, not babies.
But they became such personalities! So curious! So empowered, learning to read and write and play new games and follow new rules! So independent on some things, and you can see how proud they felt because of it. And that made me proud, too.
These are all just milestones. We can get teary about them (I always do), or we can string them together into a series of major moments that punctuate the rest of the tiny everyday moments that make up our lives.
Remember the first day of kindergarten. And all the other days, too. Because whether it’s the start of kindergarten or heading off to college, your baby will always be your baby, and he will always need you.