As of the pre-k graduation on May 26, I am now the mother of a kindergartener. I don’t know how it happened, or what I was doing while it happened, but somewhere along the way I quit my job to stay home with someone who’s now leaving me for the better part of our weekly waking hours. This is my oldest, so my kindergartener and I are forging new frontiers together.
When I was pregnant, I saw pregnant ladies every direction I looked and parenting articles on nearly every webpage I clicked. And now, I see kindergarten posts everywhere from mommy blogs to Facebook, tugging at the heartstrings of mothers everywhere who are clutching their pearls with eyes to the calendar. The end of summer already looms as they prepare to shuffle their children out of the nest. The posts are mournful, reminiscent about what was, and fretful about what is to come. I never cried before I had kids, and, now, my eyes get leaky at happy commercials, so you can imagine what the kindergarten posts are doing. Mercy.
But the bus stops here: I will no longer allow myself to wallow in those posts.
First of all, crying over the fact my baby—my firstborn—is going to kindergarten doesn’t change the fact that he is, indeed, growing up. Newsflash: children grow up. Peter Pan does not live here. As I intend to nurture this little boy into a successful man, I’m going to have to mom up and let it happen. Helicopter parenting is a real, bad thing (yeah, lots of posts on Facebook about that too, but that’s another post!), and it doesn’t help children grow into independent adults. I don’t want any part of it!
Also, it isn’t healthy for our children to hear us live in lament of their growing up. I have a friend who recently mentioned to me that her mom cried at every milestone she made. Even today, it still makes her feel guilty that when good things happen for her it might cause her mom some small grief. Oh girl, please do not let that be me! I want my babies to know that I’m their biggest cheerleader at each life change or opportunity that comes their way.
And finally, living in that sorrow isn’t healthy. Dreading tomorrow doesn’t help make the most of the wonderful days ahead. It blinds us to the positives, like seeing the increase in our circle of friends due to getting involved in the school parent organizations or enjoying the future view as the lightbulbs go off in the heads of our brilliant little people soaking up knowledge from the classroom. Good things are ahead.
No doubt I will likely cry around August 22 this year. My goal is to keep it as contained as possible. I want my kindergartener to know more than anything they are happy tears because I’m so excited about the front row seat I have to the adventures awaiting him. What a great joy it is to be his mother!