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.