Bookends to Kindergarten

Being home with August at the beginning of the school year afforded me the opportunity to participate in the boys’ lives in many ways I can’t when I’m working: chaperoning field trips, serving on committees, being present for daytime performances.  And throughout September, October, and November, I was able, on a few occasions, to drive Oscar to school.

I have always been the parent who picks up–the returning hero at the end of the day.  I have seldom seen the morning struggles and occasional tears that come with saying goodbye to young children for the day.  But in the fall, since I was home, I was able to drop Oscar off at school on several occasions.

Some of them were tough–especially in the beginning as our budding Kindergartener took in and negotiated his new environment.  There was clinging, a tear or two, and a mother who had to extricate herself from a despondent boy with as much mock cheer as she could muster: “See you at 2:45 PM!  Have a good day!”

Not easy–and my ride home by myself wasn’t pretty.  My head knew that within two minutes of my leaving Oscar was fully ensconced in some fascinating activity not to mention the warmth of his teachers, but my heart broke having to walk away when all I wanted to do was hug him.

This week I had the opportunity to take Oscar to school again–his last day of Kindergarten.  I held his hand as we walked to his classroom, helped him to consider and answer the question-of-the-day, and was struck when he left my side without a single bit of prompting and joined his friends at one of the tables.

This time the tears I cried on the way home were tears of pride–the contrast from the fall to June so marked, so striking.

Oscar, I know you and I have “miles to go before we sleep,” but I honestly couldn’t be more amazed by how many miles we’ve come.  Happy Kindergarten Graduation, my sweetheart!  You make my heart sing!

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