Kindergarten Mom

This is my first rodeo.

I have been dreading Caroline starting kindergarten since I was on maternity leave with her. Y’all already knew I am crazy like that. No surprised there.

Everyone told me I would cry. It would be hard. I would miss her so much. And they look so little when you walk away.

I must be a bad mother because I felt none of those things.

When her Daddy and I left her at Kindergarten on her first day, I looked over my shoulder and saw a kid that would be a-okay.

Maybe it’s because I’ve seen her flourish because of fantastic preschool teachers. Or perhaps its because I have the special privilege with my job to be in the school she is attending on a regular basis and I have been impressed with what I’ve observed. Or MAYBE it’s because I have a small army of spies at the school willing to sneak by and check on her and text me updates on the regular.

At least that’s what I told myself, to make the mom-guilt from the lack of worry subside.

The Mom guilt is the WORST. You feel guilt for everything…not feeding them home cooked lunches made from scratch, not making constant eye contact, being a working parent instead of a stay-at-home mom, not painting their fingernails every time they ask. All the things cause mom guilt. And if you don’t feel guilty, then you feel guilt for NOT feeling guilty. Mom guilt is from the devil, I have no question.

I had a moment shopping alone for school supplies that my eyes had a little mist thinking of how much she would accomplish this year….

But beyond that?

I remembered the pure excitement of the grand new adventure that kindergarten provided for me when I was 4. And Caroline is a whole year older than I was and probably 10 years more responsible than I was at that age.

I am so proud of her progress so far. And proud of the kid she is with her strong opinions, boundless confidence, and tender heart.

I am excited to see what kinds of things she learns from her teachers.

I am challenged as a person and a mother daily by this kid. She makes me grow in ways I never would have if I was not given the gift of being her Mama.

I am tasked with helping her learn to show kindness to those around her. This year, at the tender age of 5 she will get to begin learning to show kindness to those who themselves might not be kind. Because she will meet those people this year. And that will be new.

What a challenge. What an opportunity for growth.

It is daunting. But she is so much more than prepared, and so much more than capable. And I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help her with that challenge.

I might be am a a Pollyanna…but I truly believe that in order to change the world – you have to be a kind and compassionate person. Even more so for leaders. Even though I am her Mama, and I know for a fact I am biased, I see a lot of leadership potential in sweet Caroline. She has in her little heart a drive for fairness and is already so passionate about making things better. And we get to start that process together beginning now. Honestly, up until this point it has been exhausting parenting her. But now, she will get to begin exercising these skills. She is going to thrive.

Of course she will learn academics. That’s the easy part. Despite my lack of math skills even I know 2+2 will always be 4. But when a friend hurts her feelings about something… responding kindly, firmly and being willing to move forward will be a much bigger task. Plus, Lynn is smart so I plan on making him “homework boss”. (I haven’t surprised him with this bit of information yet. Ha!)

So yes. I am excited, and happy and a little nervous about the challenges this year of new beginnings will bring.

Sad? No.

Scared? Definitely not. I have a lot of confidence in my sweet girl.

Intimidated? Nope. This kid can handle it. And if not she’s got me as backup.

I have no doubts she will fail at things. She won’t be able to read chapter books by Halloween. She will ruin a few art projects. She will without a doubt boss around her classmates too much. There will be tears, and meltdowns and belligerence. But this is a learning time. And it is a challenge my girl is so ready to take on.

Thanks for reading friends.

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