My Son is Starting Kindergarten, and I’m Not Sad
I may be a parenting freak, but I enjoy passing the milestones
The regulation crayons, pencils and Superhero-free folders have been purchased. So have six pair of navy blue pants, 12 white polo shirts (long and short sleeve), and a brown belt that I am highly skeptical any 5-year old will consistently use for its intended purpose. We are, officially, ready for the momentous occasion that will dawn upon us shortly: my eldest child’s First Day of Kindergarten.
But as the day grows closer, I am feeling a bit like a parenting freak. This is because every time that someone asks me in relation to the new school year, “Oh, are you so SAD he’s growing up?”, my reaction is a heartfelt, unequivocal “No.”
A few years ago, I was haunted by the people who, their own children grown, would watch me chasing my toddlers and say, “ENJOY these times, they’re the BEST of your life!” I would think, “Really, lady? If you look closely at my outfit, you’ll find Fruity Cheerios, baby spit up, AND a very, very old coffee stain.” Later of course I would worry, Are they right? Should I somehow be taking a step back and savor every single moment of my children’s lives since they are ‘only little once’?
Tell that to a person who is walking out of Target with a 3-year old screaming “I WANT AN ICEE!!” and a 5-year old who is whining about Bakugons, and she may haul off and hit you (particularly if the 3-year old then wets his pants in the cart).
The word “milestone” is bandied about quite a bit in the parenting books, and when you think about it, it’s a perfect term. What else is the 18-year period between birth and high-school graduation but a marathon that you keep running, even when you’re exhausted, even when you’re sick, even when you’re furious, especially when you’re happy – just to feel the satisfaction of those mile markers as you jog past?