Sea Monkey graduated from Kindergarten today.
Before I had kids, I thought a Kindergarten graduation was the silliest thing I had ever heard of. After all, it’s not like this “graduation” was actually an accomplishment–everyone graduates from Kindergarten. It seemed so silly to mark the end of what is actually the beginning of a school career. We don’t hold ceremonies for moving from first grade to second, why would it be so different for Kindergarten?
But today, I totally got it.
It’s not an accomplishment to finish Kindergarten. Everyone will finish. Today wasn’t necessarily an accomplishment. Today was a milestone.
My sweet six-year-old is no longer a baby, and even though it may feel to me like I just had her, I realized just today that this was not the case. She may have been a baby just a minute ago, but she’s not anymore. And I know that I’ll blink again and she’ll be even older. Next thing I know, she’ll be going to middle school, and another minute after that, she’ll be off to college.
The thought made me sad, and I cried.
Her moving to public school is good for my pocketbook, but really, really bad for my heart.
I love watching her grow up. I love the way she approaches the world, all enthusiasm and zest for life. I love how feisty she is, how take charge she is, how willing she is to try anything. Her mom was always the wall flower, and easily forgotten. Sea Monkey embraces every challenge, and there’s nothing she thinks she can’t do.
I’m not sure where she came from sometimes. So unlike me, but in a good way. There are days when Sea Monkey will be talking to someone and say, “I can do that!” and I’m standing behind her cringing, thinking, “Oh, no you can’t!”
I nearly had to stuff a chloroform rag in my mouth to keep myself from contradicting her. Because I won’t be that mom. If Sea Monkey thinks she can do it, and it won’t kill her to try, I’m going to let her try. I have to be willing to let her fail occasionally, because failure is sometimes the consequence of trying, and I’ve learned more from my failures than I have from my successes. I have to say, I’m so proud of her for having the confidence to try. God knows, I’d like to borrow some of it.
So, my little Sea Monkey, you’ve made it. You’re now officially in first grade. You’re no longer a baby, and I can’t pretend you are one.
Love you, little girl.