The day that I have been dreading for 5 and a half years is almost here: The First Day of Kindergarten. I feel like I have been counting down the days since my son, Oliver, was born. On his first day of preschool, I reassured myself that I had two more years with him, two more summers. But that time has flown by too quickly. I never planned to be a stay at home parent, but after Oliver arrived going to work became a lot more of a struggle. The lack of sleep and stress led my husband and I to make the decision that I would take a sabbatical for a few months when Oliver was 10 months old. We planned to re-evaluate our decision every few months. We never did. I fully embraced being a stay at home parent. In that time, I had another son. Sweet Jack is now 3. I still have some time at home with Jack but I feel that a new chapter is beginning. As the Kindergarten countdown winds up, I am questioning the past few years that I spent with Oliver and hoping that I did enough.
It has been a busy 5 years.
– We went on countless playdates and met so many friends.
– We went to Stroller Strides, and toddler group, and music class, and art class, and gymnastics class, and break dancing class, and soccer class.
– We played Fireman Sam, Cars, Rescue Bots, Lego, and “Starbucks Worker”.
– We jumped in puddles, the ocean, lakes, and streams. We often got very sandy and muddy.
– We went to farms. SO. MANY. FARMS. Pumpkin farms, blueberry farms, organic farms, lavender farms, free farms, expensive farms. I know more about tractors than I ever wanted to.
– We read lots of books but also watched way too much television.
– We visited so many coffee shops, drank too many lattes, and ate too many treats.
– We went on trains, and planes, and ferries.
– We went to so many bouncy places, kid’s museums, playgrounds and parks.
– We snuggled, cried, potty trained, and sleep trained.
– We learned colors, numbers, letters, and reading. I stressed over each one wondering when it would happen.
We have been busy. So busy. But I still worry that it wasn’t enough, this is just part of parenting I am told. I am sure that I will be thinking the same thing when I send him off to college. But Oliver is ready. He is confident, sweet, and funny. He loves to learn and make new friends. He has a huge smile with dimples that will make you melt. Tell him a joke and he will laugh hysterically and make you feel really good inside. He wants to meet everyone and talk to everyone and tell them stories. He is ready and that makes me ready. I know that this ending and beginning is one of many that we will face together. When my husband and I drop him off I hope that I don’t burst into tears, but if I do, I know that will be in good company with all my fellow Kindergarten moms and dads.
Pass the tissues. Here we go!
By: Claire Raphael
I live in Sammamish, WA with my husband and two boys. I am a digital marketer and a mom.
I love to keep current with all of the local kid-related activities and businesses. You can
usually find me at a playground or a coffee shop. Trying to find balance in a busy digital world.
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