Friday, June 6, 2014

The Mighty

This week you told me it was no longer acceptable to refer to any part of you, physical or physiological, as little. Moving forward acceptable addressing includes Big Girl, First Grader, Child. You're my little girl with (some) little baby teeth and the littlest ponytail. It's your last day of school. 

For you, this has been a long time coming. I think the conscious countdown began around Day 47. I assume your wonderful teacher who is in her 20 or 30th-something season of teaching started said countdown. Even sunshine burns if you get too much; there IS such thing as too much of a good thing. And other assorted and relatable cliches. 

I talked to your Grandma G. earlier this week about my plans to volunteer at school all day today, and she told me to soak it up. She was a stay-at-home mom until I was a 6th grader and said right around 3rd grade I no longer passed the volunteer slips onto her. I no longer "needed" her to be part of my life at school. Shit. Hindsight is always 20/20. She went on to say "kids these days" probably are even younger than I was when they shut their parents out. Shit. 

Your Dad and I continually go back and forth on your life. I probably would have kept you as an infant ... Maybe until last year. He's been pumped for driving lessons and team tryouts since you were swaddled. I think that is just the dynamic of genders and parental roles. The bigger you get, so does your stuff. I liked having a diaper bag full of cups and compartments and extras and the things I needed to pacify or calm you. I carried all the answers and solutions around with me. But now, you carry your own bag. Your little (sorry) chin trembled last night as you replayed your day to me- why wouldn't your friend let you sit with her on the bus when she had just Tuesday morning? I don't know, sweetheart. I am 34 years old and I have no idea why people act the way they do from one day to the next. Maybe it's what the carry in their own bags, they stuff they don't let anyone see. I do know it certainly isn't for me to worry about and I try hard each day not to. You will have to, too. 

You had a wonderful year. You're a lot like your Mama- you love social settings, rules, routines. I loved school- ask your Papa about any of my GPA's and he'll tell you I learned a lot more outside the classroom than in! But my attendance record was sterling. I hated to miss out on ANYTHING. You're the same way. We call you the Mayor- you know everyone, and your school is large, spanning Pre-K through 8th grade. You know everyone's siblings and neighbors and cousins and daycare affiliates. Last names, first names. Today you attended the 8th graders' graduation and you are "just going to miss them so much!" Of course you are. You can't teach humanity or interpersonality so that's all you, baby (sorry) girl. I am so proud of you. I always, and still to this day, take great pride in being the girl my Grandma or own Mama ask about people- what was her name? Where did they move to? That skill will get you far. Keep honing. 

You're thrilled for 1st grade; you're excited for your own desk and to be able to read more. I just don't want you to grow up too much this summer. Sooner than later, we're going to tell you your beloved Grandma G. has cancer and that she will be working on her health and recovery for a long, long time. She will shave her own head before medicine makes her bald. She will look sick and act sick and not be the superhero you've always known. Up until now, you think she's had the world's longest lasting stomach ache. We didn't want to taint your last weeks of school with any of the above. I know, it's not my job to protect you from life's shitty stuff. But it is my job to put you first and make what I believe are the best decisions for you, while I am able. 

You had a wonderful year. I already said that. You had your locker moved once because you were too slow in the mornings, chitchatting with your neighbor. You also sat out a recess recently for The Woodchip Incident. But you know what? You told us about both of those occasions. The school didn't notify us. Hell, if they had to report every minor incident students do, they'd never be able to teach. Truth. Thank you for telling it. It's what I am most proud of you for all year long. I'm also pretty proud of you for not getting sent to the Principal's office, or setting fires, or taunting kids, or disrespecting your teacher. And there was just that time or two we let your lunch account balance slip below $0.00 and we forgot Sharing Day items three times. But who's counting?

I'm so proud of you. I am as excited for your summer as you are.
And I'm so dang lucky I get to be your mom.
To my mighty kindergartner!

Mama loves.

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