Win a Winner!
Writers & Photographers
Berlitz Summer Camp
by Barbara Bloom
Today I went to the open house for your kindergarten. You start tomorrow. I have blithely anticipated your departure all summer. I have planned and scheduled and listed and I entered your classroom, a secure older parent who had done this twice before. I sat with your dad in front of your cubby and took in the nooks and crannies of the place that would soon be your school.
Then your wonderful teacher, Christine, began to speak. She reminded all the parents what kindergarten means, that you will begin to imprint who you are in a world of peers. You will see the reflection of yourself and your dreams play out in the relationships you will begin to form with others. Christine reminded us how hard and how critical this work is for you and she asked all of us parents to keep that in mind in the days and months ahead. Be kind and gentle and careful with your little people as they grow, she said. And, most importantly, remember when you are here this is their space, so "get little," be in the space on the level with them.
I sat and I listened and I thought for a moment of the momentous journey that lay ahead and how important this step was and when the talk was over, I burst into tears. Turning to the head of the school, tears rolling down my face, I declared myself clearly “not ready.”
So I came home and asked to you skip it. Kindergarten is not for you, I announced. There isn't anything there we can't do here in your room, on your cowboy bed, with Boo Boo Bear and a stack of books. “Let's just stay here,” I said. “Me and you and Pickle the cat, maybe Jesse and Greer and Dad can visit.”
I have reluctantly agreed to let you go to kindergarten. Though I can't say I like it. I’ve done this twice before, you know. That high school senior who can talk me under the table and the middle schooler who never puts a book down – they both started in kindergarten.
But, I love sitting in my office, procrastinating to the sound of your playing. I love your splashing in the pool and the view from my window of you in your playhouse. I love that you and Dad find something new to do with a hammer every single day. And that when you spray sunscreen on your feet you always leave a grease shadow of your foot prints on the back porch. I love getting you something to drink right in the middle of my writing or having to stop everything to see the biggest spider web on the planet. I love when you ninja by yourself or turn on the music and dance alone to 80's pop. Sure, there is whole world out there, but you have made our world here so much more interesting than anything else we all have seen.
Here's the deal: I'll suck it up and go for this kindergarten thing. But, I'm still going to kiss your feet every morning, even though they are big and starting to smell. I'll do my best to remember the importance of your work. I'll show up and support you and I'll leave when the teacher asks. I’ll leave with a smile and I’ll come back at the end of your day with a smile. I truly believe in you, and I know that the whole world will be better with you in it. But at the end of the day when it's just us and a good book and Pickle the cat, I may just hug you a bit too tight for a couple of moments. Be patient with me, Mason. It's hard to be big.
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