Having a teenager in high school and one starting third grade, I should be an old pro by now when it comes to “back to school”. However, I have THREE children. My youngest child, my only daughter, starts kindergarten this month. The countdown has begun…by both of us.
My daughter constantly asks, “How many more days?” and, “Is it after this day?” (which means “Is it tomorrow?”) During our school shopping trip she had to have this lunch bag and that book bag and these crayons, etc.
She knows she’ll be able to be dropped off in the mornings with her brother and go inside instead of always waving goodbye to him from the car as we drive away. She knows she gets to meet other children and play everyday on the playground with them and wait in line with her brother when it’s time to be picked up. She knows she’ll have access to that great media center at the school. She can go on field trips and enjoy music and take art where she will be able to color and cut and paste to her hearts desire. “School” is a wondrous world to her and she’s counting down the days until she can go.
I count down the days because it is not only a huge milestone for her, but also a giant dose of reality for me. This is the last time I will ever have an absolute “First Day of School” with one of my children. Never again will I get to see the wonder and excitement shine as brightly in her eyes as I do these final weeks before the big day. I know that once she starts kindergarten, it will only be a matter of time before I hit the absolute “Last Day of School” when she is the third and final child to graduate from high school and move on into the world to create her future. I count down the days because I can see the symbolism of the ending in kindergarten just as I see another beginning. There is still so much more I want to do with her before we reach that point.