To My Son on His Last Week of Kindergarten
You did it, kid. You’ve almost finished your first year of school—and what a year it’s been.
You started out sprinkling jitter glitter under your pillow before bed for the first week. Everything was new, that strange mix of exciting and scary, and neither you nor I historically do well with change.
I walked out of your classroom on that first day of Kindergarten, and I knew we had both crossed an important landmark.
For eight hours a day, your life became your own.
I got that hold-my-breath-or-I’m-gonna-cry feeling each morning I dropped you off that first week (and MAYBE into the second). I wanted you to make friends, to fall in love with learning, to find your place, and to discover your own faith in God. The hardest part was knowing I couldn’t do it for you.
But in no time I saw your surge of independence. You’d leap out of the van each morning, eager to greet your friends and get your chocolate milk from school breakfast. You insisted on dressing yourself and knew you wanted to study France for your class project. You’ve always been a high-energy guy who loves people, and school became a place for you to thrive.
But you weren’t the only one doing some learning this year.
You reminded me that mismatched clothes and hair gone wild (despite my best efforts to tame it) don’t matter. Your autonomy is more important than your fashion sense, and your innocence is something to be protected. You are confident and comfortable about the way you look, and that’s something to celebrate. Heaven knows there will likely come a day when you care about brand names and hair products, but you taught me not to rush it. Son, if you want to rock your tall socks with those plaid shorts, go for it.
Kindergarten has helped us figure out a thing or two about communication, and I think we’re getting it…slowly. This was a hard one, kid. As your mama, I want to know everything: what you had for school lunch, conversations on the playground, or the instruments you played in music. But hounding you doesn’t help, and timing is everything. I had to learn when to push you for information and when to give you space. I want home to be a safe place where you can share when you’re ready, cry if you want to, or just sit in silence together.
I can’t make knowing about me. Neither of us benefit when I don’t trust God with the details of your life, and you have too much life ahead of you for me to live in fear rather than faith.
Tomorrow, I get to watch you walk across the stage as a Kindergarten graduate. You’ve been practicing your song and counting down the days until you can say you’re a first grader. You’ve fallen in love with school, and I couldn’t be more grateful to God and to your teachers. I pray that this year has set the stage for lifelong learning.
But even more so, I want you to know how proud I am of you. As the firstborn, you’re often my parenting guinea pig, and you handle that with so much grace. You love fiercely, run intensely, and think deeply when I’m least expecting it. I’ve loved watching you take your first step toward manhood, and I can’t wait to continue to be your biggest cheerleader this summer and in the year ahead.
Know your mama loves you, and God loves you even more.