Thomas started Kindergarten this week. Three years ago, I wrote Marie a letter on her first day of Kindergarten which Huffington Post Parents just picked up! I would love it if you clicked on over and let me know what you think.
Today is your big day; today you start Kindergarten. I feel excited for you because in my heart, I know that you are ready. Your preschool teachers told me with full confidence that you are ready both socially and academically.
These observations delivered peace to me since I pretty much doubt every parenting choice I have ever made (except that time I bought you a bunch of mini maze books on Amazon to keep you entertained in restaurants and car rides. You pretty much refuse to do anything that requires you to hold a crayon . . . except for those books. So I felt pretty solid on that decision).
Your sister probably has very different memories of her time leading up to Kindergarten since she had me all to herself.
You, my dear, did not get a lot of alone time with me. This is the default of any child other than the firstborn. But I also started to dabble in blogging, writing, and social media when you were a baby. As a new career started to gain traction, my time was fractioned even more and my mom guilt began to grow.
When you stepped on that bus, I was not worried about whether you were going to make it in Kindergarten. I was worried about if I did my best with you.
Will you look back and feel cheated during all the times we sat in front of the TV together, me on my computer and you on your iPad, while I graded assignments and squeezed in writing time?
Will you be sad when you think of all the times I phoned it in while playing Imaginext characters since I am the worst pretend play mom in the ever?
Or will you remember the fun crafty things we did together like spell your name with Cheerios or the time you got to play with marshmallows while learning how to add?
Or will you remember all the fun times we played I Spy when I took you out for macaroni and cheese with a yummy dessert at Panera every Thursday after gymnastics?
I am not sure what memories will stick (or which ones you might share with your future therapist). Sometimes I think back on the time we spent together, and I am proud of all we did. Other times I look through the years leading up to your first day of Kindergarten with guilt-laden glasses and think I could have done more.
As you got on that bus, I prayed that the Universe will be kind with you. Having been a member of the Universe for about 36 years and teaching in public schools for some of that time, I know that this might be too much to ask. So I hope that I have filled your bucket enough that you feel loved and special regardless of any misfortune that may happen to you.
As you depart for this new journey, know that I love you deeply and you can tell me anything, ANY.THING. (even that you decided to throw your lunch away because you were too busy talking to your new friends to eat peanut butter and celery).