Sunday, August 21, 2016
Well… it’s here. The night before my baby girl starts kindergarten. I honestly thought this would be hard… but it’s actually so much harder than I even imagined it would be.
Some people without kids may never understand why I have such a hard time with the fact that she is starting school…. And that’s ok. To those people, I will say “Just wait ‘til you have kids of your own”.
Some people WITH kids may never understand why I have such a hard time with the fact that she is starting school…. And that’s ok, too. To those people, I will say “I don’t understand why you DON’T have a hard time like me.” Every parent has different feelings and emotions when this day comes. There is no right or wrong way to feel about it. And that is OK.
Listen… my girl is prepared. She is strong, confident, a leader, and quite honestly (although I may be biased) a genius. She can write both her first and last name, say and identify her ABC’s, 123’s, and knows right from left. She hits every qualification for starting Kindergarten.
But am I prepared to let her go? Not. Even. Close.
I believe my biggest fear with Kyli starting school is that I have no way to protect her when I’m not with her. I have to simply put my faith and trust in the teachers, principals, school administrators, etc. I know that their utmost concern is the safety and protection of the precious children that walk through their classroom doors. I know they go through numerous hours of training to prepare for unforeseen circumstances that should come their way. I know the good teachers love and protect our children as if they were their own.
But no one can protect her like I can.
I’m totally prepared to deal with the physical pain that she experiences in life. I’ve got it down to a T. I know when she’s really hurt, when she’s seeking a little attention, and when she is faking. I’ve heard all her different cries, brushed away countless tears, and bandaged many a boo-boo.
But there is a different type of pain coming that I am not prepared for at all. Emotional boo-boo’s.
My Kyli has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever seen. She wants everyone to feel like they have a friend. She doesn’t know a stranger when it comes to kids, and she thinks everyone wants to play with her just as much as she wants to play with them. And so far, she’s been right.
Kyli is the little girl that will greet the new kid without even being told to do so. She walks up and says “Hi, I’m Kyli Brooke. Do you want to play with me?”
Kyli never makes fun of or picks on someone else for being “different” than her.
Kyli will befriend the shyest kid in class so that they don’t feel alone.
Kyli is the girl that will tell another kid that it’s ok to feel sad, and then give them a hug.
Kyli is the girl that will share her most favorite toy with you if it means it will make you feel better.
I’m not just rattling off a bragging list here… I’ve witnessed her do all of these things.
Kyli is my hero. We need more Kyli’s in this world.
I could take credit and say that I did all of that. But I didn’t. Sure, I teach her compassion and respect and altruism. I insist on a “please” and expect a “thank you” from her. I don’t let brattyness slide in my house, and I won’t be talked back to. But the heart she has is all her. I am so blessed with that big heart of hers.
But now that she is starting school, I know the day is coming where someone isn’t going to want to play with her. Someone isn’t going to be nice to her, even though she is nice to them. And I know one day she will get her heart broken. She hasn’t felt this type of pain yet, and I’m simply not ready for her to feel it either.
I want to shield her heart with reckless abandon. I want to feel the pain of rejection 1,000x’s over before she ever has to feel it. And I want to hold her hand and tell her everything will be alright 24 hours of the day.
But I know that isn’t possible. I know I have to let her grow and begin her own journey. So far, she’s only been on a journey that I’ve prepared for her. But now, she has to begin to build her own. That is tough for me… real tough. But it has to happen.
I can’t shelter her forever. God knows I wish I could.
So tomorrow, as I watch her walk into her classroom, I will smile big smiles and wave big waves goodbye. I will tell her good luck and let her know how proud I am of her for the umpteenth time.
She will never know that I’m sad or scared or nervous. I’ve been very careful to shield these emotions from her, because we are one. Kyli and I have a bond that is so unique and so tight. We feel the same things. We laugh at the same jokes. She can read my mind, and I can read hers. We are one in the same. I don’t want her to take on any of the emotions that I am feeling. I want her to continue to feel confident, strong, brave, and ready.
But then after I drop her off, I’ll turn around and let the emotions happen. I’ve cried so much in the past few weeks, I don’t know that I have tears left to cry. Maybe I’ll have a God-given sense of peace rush over me. I don’t know. Maybe I won’t feel a thing. And that’s ok…
Or maybe I’ll fall apart into a puddle of salty mush as soon as I walk out those doors. And that’s ok, too.
Either way, I can’t wait to pick up my girl and hear all about her day. I can’t wait to hear about the new friends she made, the new knowledge she gained, and how much faster she can run in her new shoes she just got. And then tomorrow night, I will tuck her in bed, we will say our prayers, and start it all over again the next day.
Her journey starts now. She is ready. I am not. And that’s ok…
Posted by Christy