My baby’s baby starts kindergarten this year.
How can it be that just twenty-six years ago the school bus picked up my baby for her first day of kindergarten?
Backpacks are heavier than ever with the weight of all that school stuff… pencils, paper, tissues, crayons, glue, scissors and a brand new item on the school list…sanitizer.
I wish it wasn’t so sweet Ayva, but school will be a bit different for you than for your mother twenty-six years ago.
The school bell rings for five years olds everywhere…for the first time.
The school bell rings louder when that five year old is yours.
School bell stop ringing…
We’re not ready…at least I wasn’t.
Just yesterday our baby’s newborn smell overwhelmed while snuggling them quietly near our heart.
We close our eyes for a second and the school bells rings for the first time for my baby’s baby.
For this grandmother, the school bell rings for the first time…again.
No matter how old a mother becomes, she never forgets those milestones, her children’s right of passages that mark in time their growing up.
I share with you Kindergarten Day for my baby twenty-six years ago.
The Start of New Beginnings
By Lori A. Alicea
The end of August is fast approaching. The school bell is ready for the principal to ring. Backpacks are stuffed, new sneakers are laced and moms everywhere are preparing their children for the first day of school, some for the very first year.
Though I registered my daughter this August for her senior year in high school and my son his senior year in college, this mother never forgot that bittersweet kindergarten day when the apron strings of her heart were cut.
Maybe it was in our maiden walk to school, lamenting my return alone. Maybe it was their reluctance to leave my side as I brought them to their desk. Maybe it was seeing their moistened eyes when I turned to check on them one last time. Maybe it was noticing them looking for me outside their window. Maybe it was hearing the school bell ring, wanting them desperately to be four again. Whenever it was, this first day of school painfully required me to release them to their new beginning, severing ties that intertwined our lives before kindergarten.
Before this mom had time to dry her tears, the kids bounced back in new energy with field trips planned to the apple orchard and zoo. Holiday parties and snack days were scheduled and backpacks daily emptied of schoolwork they were anxious to share.
Soon the refrigerator was papered with reading, writing and arithmetic. Little friends started to call, inviting them over to play. Where once we were cocooned in our own world of Sesame Street and adventures to the park, now my children were slowly becoming aware of their wings, spreading them ever so slightly at the edge of our nest.
As ironic that it may seem, I truly believed the best lesson I could teach my children, was to teach them to leave. In order to pass the test, I had to be willing to open the doors of opportunity along their way, never blocking the entrance to future beginnings, yet keeping exit doors closed off from early escapes of hard times.
When once they scribbled in print, they now they communicate their feelings. Where once they counted on their fingers, they now calculate life’s problems. Where once they clung to me and dominated our conversation. Now one lives six hours away and telephones when he can. The other, a few steps behind.
Looking back, that first day of school was elementary compared to the final exam of their first day on their own.
Though new beginnings should be exciting, it’s the leaving something old that makes it so difficult. Thankfully that first day of school I was teacher’s pet, when I allowed my kids to be five.