I woke up early to a dark, rainy morning. A has a history of waking up extra early on special occasions, and I wanted to be ready for her last day of preschool enthusiasm. But instead she slept in, and I passed a quiet hour on the couch with a cup of coffee and a cozy blanket before the girl of the day made an appearance. We took pictures on our way out the door to school, running outside to smile before the rain started again.
I teared up a bit on the drive to school, not because I'm sad about A going to kindergarten and growing up, but because I'll miss dropping her off and picking her up from her classroom every day. The routine has changed over the years, from the days of packing bottles for daycare to packing lunches for post-preschool activities, but at the heart it's been the same for five years: we drop our girl off in the spot where she spends her time outside the house, and we collect her from the same room at the end of the day.
But that isn't how elementary school works, especially not when your kindergartener has her heart set on riding the school bus. Today was the last day to drop A off in her classroom, and I was glad I had errands planned with D to keep me from feeling too sad when we walked out the door. But soon enough it was time to head back to school for one last pick up, and I felt the tears again. This year has been a tough one for A, and she's grown and changed so much. I thought back to all the days I dreaded waiting in the hallway for her classroom door to open. We haven't had one of those days in a long, long time...and now it was time to wait in that hallway one last time.
A ran out the door, backpack on her front (all the cool kids wear frontpacks, didn't you know?), threw her arms around me and announced, "I'm a real kindergartener now!" We filed back in with her classmates and their parents to share a video surprise with her teacher. We watched all of them singing a sweet song to their wonderful teacher, and we clapped when it was over.
And that is when I was ready to cry, because it hit me that preschool is really over. "I'm so proud of you, big girl," I whispered to her when she ran over to give me a hug as the video finished. I took a deep breath, not wanting to cry and spoil her happy day. I had to take another as A said a happy goodbye to the school's director and aide, who wished her a wonderful summer and kindergarten year, and told her to come back to visit.
We are so proud of you, miss real kindergartener. I'm not sure you're on board with the whole summer break before kindergarten actually begins, but I'm going to try to make sure we have so much fun this summer you don't notice it's three full months until school starts.