As irony would have it, I spent my children’s last days in second grade and kindergarten hanging out with my friend’s 11 month old. After I bid farewell to my children, I was handed a bag full of diapers (in the midst of potty training my youngest), bottles and formula (after I gleefully celebrated packing my last lunch of the school year) and pacifiers galore (oral fixation on something other than bubble gum)! It was definitely a shock to the system.
How can I possibly have a third grader? I should be in third grade myself! This year has been full of less scholastic growth – he knows how to read and how to add/subtract. Yet he still doesn’t know how to tone down his aggression while playing sports on the playground or how to weather a bad score for his team. In some ways, he has grown mountains. I find him dramatically more mature, easier to level with and much more flexible then he ever was. But he still wants me to kiss him goodbye in front of all his friends and snuggle up with him at night. Second grade has done him well and he has become a good person despite all the ups and downs over the years. Maybe I did something right along the way…then again, it’s probably just luck!
My full day kindergarten guinea pig had a tough year. She has struggled through all the scholastic hurdles, as well as many of the social ones. Learning to use self-control and manage her instincts has not come easy. She has had a hard time focusing all day and putting her best foot forward at all times. Yet at the end of the day, literally at the end of today, her letter/word recognition is far better than when she started, she can count higher than she ever could before, and most of all she loves school! What more could a mother (especially a mother that questions the intensity of kindergarten) really want?!?
I look at my little boyfriend, baby Ryder, who has his whole life ahead of him. Who knows if he’ll be a crazy sports guy or a chatter box? Who knows if those things will lead to his success or be giant hurdles for him to navigate once he gets to school? His eyes are literally wide open taking in the whole world. I miss those days where my life was ever changing. I didn’t know who my kids would be or what they’d look like. We weren’t sure when to add to our brood, and when to just enjoy the family composition we had. We were climbing through uncharted waters, much like my friends are with their 11 month old baby.
But most of me is incredibly happy to be at this stage of my life. I’m happy that most of those things like diapers (still to be determined), formula ($$$), and pacifiers are behind me. I’m happy that we are settled in our family composition and I understand my children as I (sorta) do now. I’m excited for my friends but I wouldn’t want to go back to that turbulent time in my life. But I’m not sure I’m ready for a third and first grader either. I guess it doesn’t matter if you’re ready or not because it’s gonna happen either way. Congrats Drew and Gabby on a year well done!!!