At some point in the early days of Sam and Nate, I remember thinking, "We have so much time until they are in Kindergarten. They will be little and cute for 4 more years!" I can't remember when it was exactly that I had that thought, but I can tell you now 5 years was not enough. Before I knew what happened or figured out how to slow down time, my children were no longer babies WAY sooner than I was ready to not have babies in the house anymore. Yes, I do not miss the diapers and bottles and being woken up in the middle of the night, but there are so many other things I desperately want back. Like fat wrists and funny sayings such as, "lellow" for yellow and snuggling and being able to carry both of them at once. I wasn't ready to give those things up, but they have now been replaced with early morning walks to school, rushed breakfasts, brushing teeth and hair at the same time, and homework.
Sam and Nate entered the world of formal education two weeks ago when they started Kindergarten at the school up the street from our house. We knew they would do fine because they have been in preschool for three years. They know their letters, numbers, colors, seasons, shapes, and animal names. They even know that what most people call a buffalo is really a bison. They've been to Yellowstone, for crying out loud! Kindergarten should be a breeze.
And it probably is for them. It's Gina and I that struggled to walk from the room on the first day and leave them with their new teacher and classmates for the first of many days of school. We struggled to understand that their schooling just transformed from "preparation" to "education." We fought back thoughts of bullies and failure and fitting in and finding a friend who is a good influence.
Letting go is hard, but we know that Sam and Nate have an amazing future ahead of them. They will have good days and bad days. Probably some missed homework along the way, and they will learn they can't please everyone. I hope they come to appreciate the value of hard work and understand there are things more important than being first (or last, depending on their preference). We want them to learn how to be a friend. To listen when people tell their story. To learn from mistakes and put their hope in the One person who will never leave them hanging.
So, here's to a great start to Sam and Nate's academic career. Let's make this the first of many first-day-of-school blog posts!