Jack has really felt sad about Kindergarten coming to a close. He has always adored school, but this is the first year that he truly realized that although he’ll be returning to the same school -thank goodness for the consistency of that- he won’t be in K with Ms. M and Ms. L anymore. He was besotted with them both, with his classmates, with all he learned, and frankly, so was I. I feel so enormously grateful for the education he’s receiving, that the values we try to instill here at home are the same values his school holds dear and he therefore receives a very consistent message in that regard, that his school community is one of which I truly love to be part.
As he and I walked around this morning, delivering homemade presents to all the teachers with whom he’s close, I felt my heart just bursting with pride. His small hands crafted each of the cards, so earnestly, so capably, so truly and sincerely full of love for the wonderful educators who surround him. He went up to each one, from the security guard to the librarian to his K teachers and so on, handed them his small package, gave them a hug, and then headed back to me. I could tell that his heart was heavier after each exchange; mine was too. It’s so hard to watch your child(ren) feel sad, to watch them learn the ways of the world, to recognize that life contains sadness, goodbyes, and disappointments alongside their happier corollaries. You nurture this maturation yet it’s difficult to see them leave the world of relative obliviousness and move into one of emotional complexity and nuance. Navigating the latter is hard and so unclear at times.
Several hours later, I went to help set up for the faculty appreciation lunch, an activity I couldn’t have been more eager to do, per the enormous, aforementioned gratitude I feel for his school. And after that, I intercepted his class as they walked towards carpool, snagged my darling little guy and could tell how vexed he felt about the final goodbye, even though he’ll see everyone again, some quite soon. He was unnaturally quiet -still a little under the weather too, I think- and simply asked that we go get the Beyblade we’d talked about and then maybe “a ham plate and lemonade at Pain Quotidien.” We held hands and did all that, and I just couldn’t stop loving and hugging him. He said he felt proud of himself, for a job well done in K. Truly, I couldn’t wish that he’d said anything more or different. What a wonderful feeling, for me and him.
Oh this parenting thing is so emotional. I am exhausted right now, for mostly good reasons (damn Oliver’s ridiculous sleeping) and because I have some pre-dread about tomorrow’s car trip. Still so much to do, photog class tonight, packing, blah, blah, blah. Even when you want to just stop and hold a moment quietly in your hands and heart, life keeps going, running, racing by, just daring you to try and pause. But the brief times today when the swirling slowed, I did appreciate it all. Hope you are all well.
-originally published on 11 June 2012