Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One Door Closes Another Opens

**Vintage Thirty would like to apologize for the tardiness of today's post. Tootsie was busy huddled in the corner crying her eyes out.**

Dear Girl-Child,

Today was your first day of kindergarten. You've been ready to go for the last two years. I know this because it has been one of the lead topics of discussion for you. Kind of like when you know a play date is upon us or a birthday; you yammer on and ask endlessly "Is it tomorrow? Is it tomorrow?". Two years later, tomorrow is finally here.

You chose your outfit out of the sweeping new wardrobe in your closet. You chose these shoes out of the dozens of new pairs (dozens: slight exaggeration but not by much). Your backpack and lunch box were handpicked by you. The wonder and excitement you exuberated? Also, all you. You woke up on time, ate your breakfast, and brushed your teeth. This is what you've been training for!

Once on school grounds you were off to play on your new playground. The one you've coveted ever since you were old enough to know what a playground was. All those years of asking if you could play on it and all of those same years my answer was no. Today is a yes day. And so is tomorrow, and the days after that.

There was no time to waste. There were new friends to make! You certainly did not inherit your mother's awkward shyness. [Thank you Jesus]. You were blessed with your paternal grandmother's exuberant zest for meeting new people and chatting them up. You don't know a stranger. Or an enemy. In your own words, "These are all my people". You're a good girl. You're sweet and kind and nice and compassionate and other children flock to you. This has always been true. You're more of a follower than a leader. You're willing to play whatever game interests your friends rather than what your immediate want is. I think this is excellent. No one likes bossy kids.

The moment was upon you. The whistle was blown and it was time to line up. You stood by your backpack and your new friends. You were all smiles and high-fives. You even gave me a thumbs up. This was totally gonna rock and you could totally feel it! Unlike your oldest brother who was dragged in by the assistant principal and an aide, kicking and screaming, literally. It took weeks for my heart to recover from that fracture.

As you knew you were ready for kindergarten for the last two years, I used that time to prepare myself as well. Or so I thought. When it came time to follow your teacher inside and the line started to move; your bottom lip quivered and tears welled up in your eyes. And my heart broke at exactly that moment. I know that fear your feeling. Sometimes I still feel it as an adult. I knew what you needed more than anything at that moment was a hug. And so did I. But I did not. Because I knew if I hugged you there was the possibility that I would never let you go. We would both end up in a blubbering heap on the playground. It was in your best interest and mine that I give you another high-five and silently pray that the line move faster.

You're gonna be okay, kiddo. I'm sure that once you were inside the classroom and at your desk that fear of separation vanished. I hope it was replaced by that excitement you had moments before. This day is a new experience for me. When your older brothers entered their first days of kindergarten, I always had an infant or a toddler at home with me. But you are my youngest. Our last. There are no more babies in our home. This is the last time I will experience a first day of kindergarten with one of my children. This will be the final page I write in your baby book; just as I did with your big brothers. I'm so proud of you.

I love you.

Love,
Mama

************************************************************

Dear Mr. Farklepants,

You're lucky my tubes are tied. The end.

Love,
Tootsie

62 comments:

Live.Love.Eat said...

Wow...
I have already been thinking about this as my almost 5yo will be going to kindergarten next year in a brand new school. He has been in his current one since he was 8 months old. I'm scared! I feel for ya......

Live.Love.Eat said...

And wow x 2. I'm the 1st one here. And now the 2nd. Weird!!!!!!

Shania said...

Speaking from experience, the tubes? They can be untied. I'm just sayin'.

TheMama said...

Oh, man.

I'm srying just reading this.

By the time the first day of school rolls around for my little one, I will likely be incoherent.

She's beautiful, btw. And I love the shoes. No Mary Janes is one of the downsides to having a boy...

Anonymous said...

Honey...you did so well today. But it gets worse! They get MARRIED...and they get wheeled into DELIVERY ROOMS! Today, believe it or not, is a GOOD day. There are bad days (bad hair, zits, boyfriends-from-hell, calls from the Principal - oh YES there are!!)But, trust me..I'm old as dirt - and I know all about these things..there are far more good days than bad. Sit back, grab your camera - it's gonna be a fun ride! Don't forget to put every minute into your 'Memory Bank'. On a tough day - you can take out a good memory! xoxo the fan

Swirl Girl said...

I am always amazed that this big step is so much harder for mommy than it is for the child. If she didn't see you standing there, she probably would have been fine, My little d.q.i.t.'s (drama queens in training) feed off of my emotions and facial expressions. I love how Kindergarten teachers cover the windows with paper flowers and decorations so the mommie's can't see inside - and more importantly, the new students can't see their mommies!
She'll be fine. Now, what are you going to do with all your 'free' time?

Melissa said...

Oy, my little one starts 1st grade this year...I'm so not ready!!

I hope Girl Child has a wonderful first day and makes tons of new friends and has great new experiences.

And that you drink lots of wine tonight! ;)

Sandy C. said...

Oy. My heart just broke reading this! I felt the same way on my daughter's first day of preschool. I've already started to mentally prepare for kindergarten.

A sweet, lovely post. So glad you had stopped by and left your URL, I really enjoy your blog :)

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Oh damn you. OR thank you. I can't decide which. I have to go through this Monday with my baby. Thanks and damn you for the preparation.

KEEP BELIEVING

JCK said...

You totally, totally slayed me on this one. SLAYED ME. I don't know if I've ever read a lovelier post. Such a milestone. Such bittersweet times.She will soar.

I loved the part about not hugging her at the end, because you might not let her go. You did the right thing, girlfriend. You soared, too.

And I can't even imagine how hard that was with your oldest.

O'Neal (The woman in charge around here) said...

It wouldn't be natural to NOT feel this way, I've never seen a Mom with a dry face leaving the K5 hall on the first day!

I'm really starting to rethink the big V hubby has scheduled for next Friday... can I take this as a sign? Please??? ;)

EatPlayLove said...

I had to put my sunglasses back on yesterday as Sj was off to Kindergarten. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes.

Amy said...

Awww - how sweet. I still have quite a few more years before I'll have all my kids out during the day!

So besides your "appointments" what are you going to do with all your time?

AGSoccerMom said...

I felt that way for both of my children. Loved the pictures you shared.

Marmarbug said...

Awwww! I am sorry! I know that it was a hard day for you. I would have been a blubbering mess. You did well!
And LMAO at the letter to Mr. Farklepants!

Texan Mama@WhoPutMeInCharge said...

Really beautiful post. Your daughter sounds like she'll be a star in kindergarten. Who wouldn't love that cutie pie?!

calicobebop said...

Sweet little girl! Good to know she still needs Mama, even if it is a tear-jerker.

Star said...

That made me well up just thinking of my little Twinkle going to her first day in a few years :(

mysecondjournal said...

OH crap...I got something in my eye.. no I'll be OK..

sniff sniff

Maura said...

A great memory of a special day for you both. She looks so sweet. I'll never have one of those days, but I really enjoyed reading about yours.

Baby Favorite said...

Hell, at this point, my husband is lucky that MY tubes are tied.

I'll go back to my sobbing now.

Marcy Writes- The Glamorous Life said...

Beautifully written. I felt like I was right there with you both.

And yes isn't it amazing...as soon as you get them all in school you think 'hey why not have another!'..

Don't do it girlfriend. Trust me.

Karen said...

Oh dear gracious I have to do this in two weeks with my baby girl. WAHHHH!

Karen said...

I meant two more days not weeks. See how emotional I got? I couldn't even think straight to comment.

smalltownmom said...

She is adorable! What a milestone.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja said...

On my first day of Kindergarten, my mom dropped me off in front of the school and I wandered into the hoard of kids. Instantly I was lost and began to tear. I recall three pretty girls coming to my aid, helping me find my class. That's when I started liking girls.

Burgh Baby said...

*hugs*

and more

*hugs*

merlotmom said...

Loved this post. Took me right back to when my youngest went (he's now heading into third grade!) You did a great job. Mine aren't much older but kindergarten was definitely some of the most emotional times.

Mekhismom said...

I love the post. What a beautiful letter for your daughter to treasure when she is older.

apathetic bliss said...

ok now I am huddled in a corner crying!

Laura said...

You done good, Mom! With a smile like hers (and cute hair too), she is just starting on the many "firsts" in her life! Enjoy every moment! She will treasure your sweet entry in years to come.

Jill said...

I read this and cried. I just sent my munchkin off to kindergarten 2 weeks ago... in India... Holy crazy batman.

You captured everything I was feeling when I walked her into her class on the first day.

I still tear up when I see her in her classroom at pickup every day. My how the time flies.

Saucy said...

*weep* my youngest is in her last year of grade school this year...

I remember the day she started Kindergarten, like it was only eight years ago. They lined the kids up and took their photos, boys posed with books, girls posed with flowers.

I marched all of the little girls out to the playground and demanded that they mutiny! They did. Photos were retaken, all with books. One boy chose the flowers. 'nuf said.

BOSSY said...

Pass. The. Kleenex.

And. The. Birth. Control.

Your Pal Pinki said...

Sending over a mom hug
{{{{{{{Tootsie}}}}}}}}

Linda said...

Awwww....I remember when my little Man went off to school...
(gulp)
They grow up too fast!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It's the end of an era. What will you do with yourself?!

mommypie said...

Aw, I love that. My baby will be heading to kindergarten NEXT year, but I know it's going to kill me.

Hang in there Mama.

Anonymous said...

That was beautifully written. Tears are streaming down my face and my baby girl is 24 years old! Big brother is 28. You know what? They never stop needing you.

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

My heart breaks...you never forget the first day of kindergarten.

Allie said...

You are the cutest mommy ever! I hope she had a wonderful first day of school and many more to come.

*cyber hugs*

http://anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

My lips are quivering just thinking about you being there. It sounds traumatic.

Loralee Choate said...

The first day of Kindergarten is a completely bittersweet day.

It goes fast doesn't it? My oldest is starting middle school next week! I stood in the middle of lockers and parents running around registering their kids wondering how the hell it happened. Hello? I'm only 33???! Gah!

Undomestic Diva said...

Goddamnit, Tootsie. I have to do this in 13 days (who's counting?!) and I was already not looking forward to it and now, I'm REALLY not looking forward to it. Mama's gonna have to get her a new sweeping wardrobe of her own to survive it.

And a cardiologist.

ALF said...

Aww...how sweet.

just a girl... said...

Your daughter is beautiful. I just found your blog and glad I did. Chuck E Cheese is still making me laugh right now

Dr. Mom said...

That was beautiful! The last line made me laugh! You are a great writer!

Denise said...

My last child started Kindergarten last year and I was all like this.

This year on the first day of school (1st grade) I can't wait to drop her off!

Lulu said...

Oh, Tootsie. They grow up so fast. What a Cutsie-PaTootsie she is!

Michelle Hix said...

Oh my how sad...my youngest is going to 2nd grade this year but I can totally relate to the lip quiver!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Awwww, bless her excited little heart. She looks like she's going to be JUST FINE! (Now, I hope you will be, too.)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

An egg just dropped from my left ovary. *sniff*

Eve Grey said...

I hear you. If my husband hadn't gotten "the procedure" we'd have at least one more set of twins running around. My boys are starting Grade 1! sigh

Formercitygirl said...

My heart skipped a beat when I read this. I can picture myself and my little E. in this same situation three years from now. How will I be able to let her go? I just don't know.

anymommy said...

I'm so late to this one, but I had to say that you had me in tears. I may have to keep having babies one after the other forever so that this never happens. Hope it was a great day for her.

dkuroiwa said...

oh great...more tears for kids i don't really know and that just means that when my little man starts school in April I'll have all these posts going through my head...yeah...i'll be the foreign mom hanging on the outside of the door of the school as they try to shut me out.

This was really beautiful...and I just love her "first day of school" outfit...MaryJane's are something I have missed out of this whole "mommy adventure"....little boys don't like them so much!!!

pogonip said...

My baby's first day of kindergarten--I remember it like it was yesterday instead of (OMG!) twenty years ago. It gives me empathy for our K mommies every year and we never fail to put a box of tissue outside our K door!

1blueshi1 said...

It took me two days to get all the pictures and video downloaded and enough distance from the actual event, but I finally posted my Last First Day Ever post over at my place. swing by & check it out. 'cause I'm totally feelin your pain.

Domestic Spaz said...

Holy Jack... Now I'm crying.

Colleen said...

awww...she looked ADORABLE! love the mary-janes. *sigh*

Someone asked me the other week if Gavin was starting kindergarten this year and I nearly tackled them for fear they'd start a rumor that might be true.

Coloradolady said...

Well, I hate to burst your bubble!! Kindergarten was a tough one, but nothing, and I repeat nothing compared to when my baby went off to college. If you need a good laugh, I wrote about that listed under "heart strings" titled "it's a dog's life", on my blog..You will be able to see what you have to look forward to. Trust me I can laugh at myself now, but then, I was a blubbering mess. I enjoyed your post, brought back many memories of long ago, and not too long ago. Your sweet little girl is just precious. Hope her first day went well.

blissfullycaffeinated said...

Oh, so so cute.

We still have a year to go before kindergarten. I'm already dreading that day.

You did great!