My baby goes to kindergarten next week. No just one of my babies but my youngest child. My daughter who hates long car rides, who gets really tired by the early afternoon, who falls asleep anywhere and everywhere once her fatigue hits, who loves to eat at home so much that she never elects to eat out, even on her birthday, who gets shy when she first meets people but she's friendly and outgoing once she makes a friend.
My daughter who won't wear the pretty sandals her aunt sent her but instead wears tennis shoes every day even with the prettiest of dresses, she won't walk barefoot but wears socks ALL the time, yes…even to bed. She spends so much time trying to "flatten" the top of her hair and tame down her curls that I think I need to embrace mine more instead of drying my hair out straight so often. My baby who still loves her stuffed animals and will choose to buy one over anything else at every given opportunity. My kind-hearted girl who loves monsters and aliens because “no-one else does.”
Asha loves to surprise us by making the beds, even those in which she doesn't sleep. She makes cards and pictures to surprise her dad when he comes home from business trips and she fills empty boxes from the recycling bin with stickers, pictures and crayons as presents for us. She picks flowers for me on her walks and she spends time with me helping in the garden. She's always willing to compromise with her brother. She loves small spaces and hidden alcoves and I often find her under a desk or in a closed in corner of a room where she'll sit surrounded by her stuffed animals and a cozy pile of blankets. At only five years of age, she loves to "face time" her cousin Sophia and her friend Ellie. With the girls on the other end of the iPad, they have tea parties and make crafts. I'm amazed at how close she is to her cousin considering they live over an hour away but technology is going to change the face of this generation.
In preparation for kindergarten, she has been doing her "homework" which is a workbook I got for her. She loved doing homework while her brother did his so she's been through a few workbooks but yesterday she finished an entire pre-K workbook that she's worked in all summer, so she feels confident that she's ready now for school. Except that she's "nervous" because it's such a big school. She's excited to see her brother there and she really wants to sit next to him on the bus, if only he was equally excited about that (I think he secretly likes it but he won't admit it to her!)! She's thrilled to have a backpack she picked out but she is worried about being gone for so long. Preschool ended before lunch and she's never been away from home all day so this will be a first.
So much is new and different for my baby. As for me...well I'm far more relaxed, prepared and calm about it. But I'm not going to lie, the thought of BOTH kids being gone all day makes me sad. It's a long school day and they are so young. So as we prepare to go to orientation today, I'm going to hold my baby's hand and give it that squeeze she needs for confidence. I'm going to point out all the wonderful things about school and then I'm going to try not to cry.