I had it on my calendar – that dreaded, but exciting day Carys & I have been anxiously awaiting.
The day came. The day passed.
And I didn’t go sign her up. That was mid-February. Something happened that day, but I can’t remember what it was. I probably had a bad hair day, or Carys did — something happened to cause me to not go. I know I was just not ready, subconsciously.
My friends were all excited about registering their five-year-olds for big-kid school, and I just chuckled away with them. Oh yes, we’re registered. Oh, yea, the school is great. I hadn’t even set foot in her new school.
Just as I was starting to feel like a strong contestant for UnMother of the Year to an almost Kindergartner, I bit the bullet.
I called the school, made a list of things I needed to enroll her, and got the necessary paperwork from her pediatrician. And then, this morning, I actually went to the elementary school.
The school is huge. And I couldn’t believe my tiny baby big girl will be roaming these enormous, long, winding hallways next Fall. I mean, seriously, Carys was just born last week! Give me a break! I still have things to teach her before she starts this structured educational journey.
Her little five year life flashed before my eyes when I was filling out paperwork that deemed her a newly enrolled student in the county’s school system. Five years have passed? Really? It doesn’t feel that way, not at all.
I remember willing her to leave my body, burying my nose in her
newborn cheeks – just to catch a whiff of her brand-new baby smell.
I remember Chad sitting with her in a rocking chair, for hours,
next to an open window so her jaundice would disappear.
I remember wondering if she would ever speak.
I remember wondering if her bald head would
ever produce any sprouts of new hair.
I remember teaching her to snap her fingers,
eat with a fork, and spell her name.
I remember telling her, repeatedly, that she could never
go to kindergarten if she didn’t learn to use the potty.
And it’s the truth. I checked the box on the questionnaire this morning.
Now, I usually catch a whiff of sweaty 5-year-old that’s played too hard, but still.
Now, we have to beg her to stop flashing the neighbors because she likes to run around naked in front of the windows.
Now, we can barely get a word in because she talks and sings nonstop.
Now, we deliberate on the best way to keep her unruly mane in check each day.
Now, she’s trying to teach her little sister to snap her fingers and spell her name.
Now, I hear “I need privacy in the bathroom, Mom!”
A kindergartner. In our house.
I just can’t believe it’s time for all of that.
She’s too small to be navigating those hallways, with the bright bulletin boards, the smiling teachers, and the library stocked with imaginative words and pictures that mommy didn’t make up.