Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last Day of June

June has flown by, as it usually does. And July is almost upon us. July has always been a nebulous place for me. I went from being a student to a teacher, so my life has just about always revolved around the academic calendar. And July is the only month that doesn't usually include some sort of reference to school. It starts with a bang on Independence Day, then slowly marches into August. Except when you are about to start August, you look back and wonder, "What the heck happened to July?"

This July, however, I am really taking note. Starting tomorrow, I have only 42 more days before my dear Valerie goes to kindergarten. I know I am going to miss her so much, spending so much time at school. Someone told me just after she was born, that beginning with birth, it is just one long process of separation. And Valerie going to kindergarten feels like a huge separation to me.

I had a hard enough time when Valerie went to preschool. She was three-years-old, and went two mornings per week. The preschool was a co-op, so I volunteered on one of those days. But still I cried not just on the first day after I left her there on her own, but on several days! I remember the first day, walking through her room back at the house and thinking, "She should be here!" Tears. She just completed a year of three mornings per week preschool (at a different school), and I felt a pang each morning when I dropped her off. Then relief when I got to pick her up again.

My two favorite years of teaching, during my eight year career, were the ones I taught kinder (that's what teachers call it). I loved those sweet vibrant kids! I liked confidently reassuring their parents, that even if they cried after separating, it would only be for a few minutes (for the child, anyway--I don't know how long the parents cried!), then everything would be fine. And it always was fine. This time, I will be the one needing reassurance. It is just different when it is your own child.

But, anyway. I'll be sure to post about my impressions of Valerie's first day of kindergarten. For now we have 42 more days of playing with buckets of water in the front yard; long walks on scenic trails; visits to libraries, museums, and historical sights; gymnastics and ballet classes. We have 42 days we can schedule (or not) anyway we like. And I will take extra care to spend special time with Valerie during Andrew's naps, even when dishes, rest, or other interests are calling. Because this is it.

Soon Valerie will be separating from me for about thirty hours per week, and becoming even more her own beautiful, smart, exuberant, delightful self. Hmm...it looks like we have another Independence Day coming up in August this year.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yeah, my oldest is going to be a third grader and it really is all about letting go. Thankfully kinder is a shorter day, and there will be tons of classroom volunteer opportunities. Those helped me a lot.