Wednesday, August 13, 2014

On the eve of Kindergarten ...

Sweet, sweet Ellen -
Here we are. The night before this huge, huge change. So big, in fact, that I really can't wrap my mind around it. I've been "nesting" for weeks: organizing, and purging, and sorting, and sharpening pencils, and planning for lunches, and buying hooks for things that need hanging. She who controls the clutter, controls the world! If only that were true.

Such a milestone: we have successfully cared for a child for 5 3/4 years! Said child is bright and eager and funny and raring to go! We couldn't ask for more. In many ways it feels that our whole world is being turned upside down, yet really, you will only be 8 houses away from us. Probably a 4.2 minute walk, yet might as well be hours. The number of items I've added to my calendar in the last several weeks, before you've even set foot in the school, confirms my suspicions that the planets of this household will revolve around you, the sun, for quite some time.

I'm thrilled for you and this experience. As your principal said this evening, reflecting on his experience raising 5 daughters (bless him), he saw the most marked change in his girls in the first semester of Kindergarten and not again until their first semester of College. My greatest hope is that you make friends, fall in love with learning and feel that you find your place. Really, I think most adults would say that those three things make for a satisfying life.

I'm happy for Georgia to finally have time for the one-on-one attention she deserves, yet I know she will miss you like crazy. Her language and personality have been in over-drive lately and I will miss you, my pal, who I can always count on to laugh at her antics with me.

You seem so grown up to me at times and it's easy to forget that you have the normal fears and worries of any child going through a transition. As much as we can talk and talk and talk about all of this - there are just a lot of feelings, too. You charged through the halls at Village today boasting, "I'm not nervous! Not one tiny bit!", yet you've cried each day on the way home about missing your sweet friends. You crawled in bed tonight and expressed that you WERE nervous and worried. About what? I asked. "Oh, just everything, I guess." Me, too, babe.

Last Sunday morning I suggested you spend time playing with Georgia because it would be your last time home together for awhile. As much as we've talked about this, I think it finally sunk in. You cried and cried and cried - couldn't understand how the day came so soon. "Usually in preschool, if you need a hug, you can just go get one from your sister, but in Kindergarten she won't be there!" (tears tears tears) I suggested she could get a hug from her classmate and friend, Addie, or her teacher. "I know, but it's just not the same!"

No, it really isn't. I promise to give lots of hugs every morning so you can store them up for the day. I will do my best not to be frustrated with the bad/unusual behavior I expect out of you the next few weeks during this transition (I learned from the Emerging Vegetarian Experience of 2013). We are so proud of you and so happy to embark on this adventure with our very favorite 5-year-old.

Love, love, love -

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