Thursday, August 17, 2017

Kindergarten Tears

In an hour Pandora has meet the teacher. In an hour Pandora will walk into her kindergarten room and begin her official schooling.

In an hour I will cry. I will continue to cry on the first day of school. I will not cry in front of her, but I will continue to wipe my tears as I stare at her in the rear view mirror singing along to Moana, I will wipe my tears as she and her big bow with ponytail bounce towards a play date, and I will wipe my tears when she gets off the bus for the very first time.

I know everyone tells you to enjoy them when they are little and believe me, I did. However, there is nothing enjoyable about teething, potty training, sleep training, and tantrums. Nothing. Did I wish those times away? Hell yes. Do I regret that? Fuck no. Can I still bawl like a child on the first day of kindergarten? Of course.

Whether you enjoyed the newborn stage (I loathed it), toddler stage (love), little kid stage of 3-5 years (fun), you still get to be upset (if you choose) when your baby starts kindergarten. It is the beginning of the end.

Kindergarten begins the "teachers see my kid more than I do" phase of life. And that's why I cry.

I cried when Penelope started kinder and her teacher was awesome. I already know Pandora has a fantastic teacher and this time around, it is even harder! I am a mess!!!

I cry because Pandora will have successes and failures that I will no longer see.
I cry because Pandora will learn something new and flash her awesome smile and I will not be there to witness it.
I cry because at some point she will be crying and I won't be there to hug her.
I cry because her future now belongs in someone else's hands.

We are zoned to a wonderful school. I trust the teachers immensely, but I am the ultimate mama bear and letting go of control and letting my baby grow up is tough stuff.

At the present moment I am crying, blogging about crying, and Pandora is saying, "Mom! Is it time to meet my teacher? I already love her and kindergarten!"

So to Pandora's teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade - be kind, be mindful of your words, be generous with your smiles, and know she is an amazing kid.

Kindergarten, elementary school, and to the whole world - watch out, here comes Pandora! And trailing behind her is me, her mom, wiping away tears.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Happy 6th Birthday


Happy birthday, sugar! 

In the blink of an eye you are another year older and now starting kindergarten. I don't know how we got here so quickly. It is true, the days are long but the years are short. 

From the minute you were born you have had my entire heart wrapped up in your great big smile. No matter what the day brings you, you can find the joy. It is the greatest gift in the world to be able to find happiness in all you do and you, my daughter, smile brightly each and every day.

For six years I have worried. I worried when you wouldn't sleep, you wouldn't eat, you wouldn't talk. On your second birthday you had five words and ate about the same amount of foods. You were happy and content and smiled that smile, but I knew you could do more. And after six years, I still worry but I have also learned NOTHING will hold you back. Your future will be whatever you want it to be.

Your journey to six, which is so young and so old at the same time, has been long. Speech, physical and occupational therapy has been your life for four years. You have worked hard and worked with a smile. Preschool for three years brought challenges as well, and again you faced them with a smile. 

Anything you have accomplished, you have done with a smile. You know the meaning of pride. You know the meaning of hard work. You are an inspiration without even knowing it. 

Last year, when you turned five I said this was going to be "your year." And as you will learn, I am always right. 

This year, you have become a child I never dreamed possible. You squashed every worry as you began to tackle milestones and meet milestones that exceeded your age. You played softball this past year and even with your motor challenges you succeeded and were the most enthusiastic 6U softball player. The other teams would cheer for you when you hit the ball and ran to first. Everyone around you could feel the exhilaration you felt as you accomplished something so great.

Your two greatest challenges this year were learning to swim and learning to read. Learning to swim was a must from me, but I never imagined that this would become your sport. It is incredible to think at age five and half you wouldn't get your face wet and today, on your sixth birthday, you are learning to be a competitive swimmer. There is not a person in your life who is not cheering for you. Your successes have been amazing to watch.

Learning to read is no small feat. Not a day has gone by without you asking me to teach you. You want to learn and your desire to do something is all you have ever needed. Identifying letters and sounds, rhyming, beginning, medial, final sounds you have mastered. You can read small words in BOB books and want to learn more. Kindergarten is going to be a wonderful experience for you. You will take your aspirations into that classroom and become a greater version of yourself. You will learn more than academics and you will teach not only your teacher, but your classmates too how to achieve goals with strong perseverance and a smile.

I watched you this summer  and you literally swam into a different world. A world where you are no longer developmentally delayed. A world you control with that very smile you were born with.  Yes, your world will always have challenges, challenges unique to your learning style, but it is a world with endless possibilities.

It took six years for many people around you to see what I have always known - your heart, your smile, your endless zest for life is what keeps you going and what makes you capable of anything.

My birthday wish for you is your determination never dies and all your hopes and dreams come true. I look forward to seeing your toothless, six year old smile this year. 

Happy birthday, baby girl. I love you. 

Kiss, nose kiss, butterfly kiss.