Thursday, August 07, 2008

That Phase

Well, I made it. I’m there.

My baby went to kindergarten this week.

I have been anticipating this stage for a long, long time (about twelve years, seven months, to be exact—ever since Mr. Colic entered my life and I realized that my life wouldn’t be my own for a very, very long time). I’m not ashamed to admit that I have looked forward to this. It would be much more socially-acceptable to say that I am devastated because I love spending time with my kids so much. But I’m not. I do enjoy my kids, sometimes. But I really, really like having some discretionary time with no one nearby to whine at me. I’m not embarrassed about this.

So what did I do with my first day? I’ll tell you. I walked the Big Guy to school, and cried the teeniest, tiniest little bit—-not because I was sad, but because I’m a big boob at those times when I’m supposed to be nostalgic. The whole “this would be an important scene in the movie of my life” thing gets to me. It WAS touching to see those little guys, feeling so big, march off into the school. Here’s a poem I wrote about the experience when his older brother went:

To Jon, On The First Day of Kindergarten

So eager to get there, you were, as was I--
both of us waiting so long for this day--
skipping along, with your big backpack flapping
(the Star Wars one from your big brother, too big)
and your new "big boy" haircut,
you catch sight of the door.

That's it. You are gone now,
breaking away to join up behind
all the kids facing forward in shiny new shoes.

I've been facing forward myself—but not now!
I stand and I stare at the back of your head
(there! you turn and wave shyly and blow me a kiss)
and wonder, and wonder, do I even know you?
Can I even say that I ever have known you?

One line of little souls, facing the doors,
A parallel line of camera-strapped moms.

I give up the care of your body by inches.
But what of your soul? Have I touched it at all?

I won't panic, I tell myself, still there is time--
The mornings are gone but there are the afternoons.
Tightly I'll cling to them, not looking forward,
so tightly, I'll cling, to the very last inch.

(Only this time I wasn't so regretful. That kid is ready. I'm ready. Bring it on.)

Anyway, then I walked home and I did Lesson 1 in my Power-Glide Spanish course. Then I took a long nap and read something for fun. Finally, I practiced guitar, which I haven’t done for years. It was FANTASTIC.

I was smiling when they got home.


rofoyo said...

Congratulations on making it. I am happy for you.

Barbara Bakes said...

I want to learn Spanish too!

Michelle said...

Goodness, I love that poem.

I'm not to that stage yet and I honestly don't know how I will feel.

But now that you are have a bit of freedom let's get together. I'll call you in two weeks when my kids go off to school.

Jennifer B. said...

Sounds wonderful.

One more year, and I'll join the ranks.

Jane said...

I'm getting ready to send my first to kindergarten. It was bothering me until a few days ago. Now I'm freaking out about it. It will be a big adjustment for both of us, but I know James is ready to go and am excited for him.