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Kindergarten is a word that stirs many emotions in a parent’s heart.
Even if your child has previously been in full-time daycare or preschool, it’s a big milestone. Things become more formal, more systematic, more grown-up somehow, and of course, cheaper (if your child is attending public school).
Raising a child is a very personal thing. All of a sudden, there is a brand new person who is living in your home, and it changes everything. I felt my entire world shift when my oldest was born six years ago. Since then, I have celebrated every milestone (especially using the bathroom on his own and getting dressed!) knowing that some kids never get that far or that some parents aren’t around to see it.
Sure, I feel a bit of nostalgia as the days pass.
Mostly, I’m just proud and happy for him. But even more, I’m grateful to reach each new season of raising a child.
Growing up, I could never envision being a mother, so now that I’m here, I ponder the growth of it, the seasons, the ever-changing dynamic. And I know plenty of parents don’t live to see each milestone, nor does every child get to keep experiencing them.
The goal of every good parent is to raise loving, strong, independent human beings who will enrich the lives of those around them. Each milestone moves us towards that end goal, and I soak up the beauty of getting a first-row seat to a blossoming child.
Now, I do have good friends who are sad at the thought of their child spending so much time away from them, and I get that. I don’t want to belittle that sadness or act like it’s not a big deal. I just find myself thinking more about the positives that are coming into his life, not the loss. Besides, nothing I can do will stop the passage of time, even if I wanted to. And even pausing time wouldn’t allow us to stay there forever.
Life is about growth, about finding out who you are and your place in this world.
I relish the chance to be so close to my son as he continues on his journey.
So, were there tears from me on his first day of kindergarten? Maybe a few. But they were a tear or two of joy as I watch my little boy take a step closer to the amazing man he will be. What a journey he is on, and I’m grateful to be here to see it.