My daughter is five. In less than three months, she will enter Kindergarten.
The sad, pensive expression on her face on the first day of pre-school still echoes in me. As much as she talked about her desire to go to school, when I dropped her off, she shrieked and cried, begging me not to leave. “Please stay Momma, please stay. I change my mind. I don’t wanna go to school.” For thirty minutes, I lurked outside the window of her new class room, peeking in so that she couldn’t see me. Big alligator tears fell down her cheeks and she kept telling her teacher, “I want my Momma.” After a short period of time, she calmed down and began to explore her new surroundings. The teachers convinced me that this anxiety and crying was a part of the adjustment phase, tears would turn into laughter.
I know it is such a cliche, but time goes by so fast. That fearful little 3 year old is now a vibrant, young little lady, who enters the class playground with laughter. Some mornings she forgets to give me a hug because she is too excited and wants to jump on the swing with her friends. When she comes homes from school, she tells me that after recess, she told her teacher, Mrs. O, that she loves her. She talks about making volcanoes and describes the red gooey stuff, which in her speak, is called lawa. Last week, without any prompting from me, she wrote her numbers, from 1 to 100 and read a mini-book. She helps me make her lunch, clears the dinner table, and reminds me that we need to pick out her clothes for the next morning.
Her personality is hard to contain, the shy little toddler is now a vibrant, opinionated, joyful little girl. She has opinions and observations and she isn’t afraid to share her thoughts with anyone. Sometimes when I offer help, she flatly tells me, “Momma, I can do it by myself.” There are more periods of time, when she doesn’t need me to be in the room with her. Everyday she acquires new companions, whether they are friends, words, numbers, crayons, and particular toys.
I am learning everyday that I am not the sole center of her universe.
But as moves on to Kindergarten, I know a part of her will still need me. As we prepared for her last day of preschool, her front tooth wiggled and was loose enough to be pulled out. My fingers tried to give it one last tug so that it would fall out. The process of course wasn’t smooth with plenty of tears, hugs, and yes, little droplets of blood. As it fell out, my daughter said to me, “Momma, please be gentle.”
Those words stayed with me throughout the morning. Part of me wanted to whisper back to her, as you grow older, please be gentle with me too.
As a mother, was it a difficult transition to watch your children move from Pre-K to Kindergarten? What are the things that your children tell you that surprise you? What ways do they demonstrate their independence?