Friday, September 6, 2013

School Daze

At this point in time, Samantha has been in kindergarten for about a month. I was going to post on her first day, but I was busy moping/rejoicing, and I didn't want to jinx anything by saying she loved it in case she changed her mind on day 2.  After a month, she still loves it, and I love it too. She cried when she found out Labor Day was a three-day-weekend. When I realized she planned to fill that day fighting with her brother, I got a little emotional myself.
That's pretty much been the last month: me getting emotional. I cried a little at meet the teacher. I cried a little bit more after dropping her off the first day. Oddly, I cried the most after the first few days of school, on the first day I dropped her off at the curb and watched her walk to the playground alone instead of waiting on the playground with her until the teacher walked them into the building. She just looked so small walking along in the mass of kids. Even though it's just a standard-issue Princess backpack (sidenote: Argh! I'm so sick of princesses!), it looked like it would swallow her whole. And she's a tall kindergartner. Some of those kids look like they should still be in diapers when they're next to the sixth-graders.
I've gotten over it, however, and we're in a routine. Every morning, we wait in the long line of cars in front of the school for the gates to open indicating there is now adult supervision on the premises. We inch up to a reasonable place near the gate where a teacher is waiting to open car doors and help the little ones get out (This is especially handy since our car is a car-seat playground and Sam is trapped in the way back). After the door shuts, Peyton and I roll down the windows on his side of the car and as we drive by and she turns the corner at the gate, he yells "Bye, Sama!" and she turns back and waves at us. Then we close the windows to head back into the traffic leaving the school, and Peyton sighs and says "It's gonna be a willy lon day!" I'm not sure why he does that part, but he probably got it from me. It's our little system, and it works, five days a week.
Yesterday, though, as the teacher helped Sam get out of the car, I heard little voices yelling her name. There was a small group of kindergarten girls whose names I don't even know on the school side of the fence that were clearly happy to see her. Sam lit up, and booked it to the school faster than usual. The girls ran along on their side of the fence chattering away. In response to her brother's shout Sam waved over her head, but didn't look back. Today, it happened again, only this time, Sam didn't even wave. She didn't even hear us, she was already giggling and talking with her friends. This is as it should be, of course, but when Peyton said "Mama, Sama not look back!?" with a frown on his face, I felt like I'd been punched in the gut.
Then, even though it had been a month, some tears welled up in my eyes yet again. Happy tears for Sam, who is joyful and has friends, loves school, and is learning. Sad tears for me, as my baby girl doesn't want to look back anymore. Sad tears for Peyton, Sam's very best friend who now feels a little left out of Sam's special circle. Happy tears for Peyton, who is finally getting some time to be the leader and not be in Sam's bossy shadow all the time at home. Scared tears for me, as I realize for the first time in her whole life, I have no clue or control over what kind of friends she is making. These are children thrown together largely by geography, not ideology, not shared values or experiences. How I hope these girls will always be as sweet as they seemed by the fence, not mean girls, or frenemies, or kids who want to push Sam away from doing the right thing. How I hope she will be a good friend who remembers what we've taught her about how to treat others...without losing herself. There were a lot of conflicting tears mingling in my eyes in that brief minute. I did not let them fall, but I expect there will be plenty of opportunities ahead in this motherhood journey when these tears can not be contained.
As everyone else as learned on this journey before me, these young days really do fly by with lightning speed. Soon it will be Presley's turn at the gate and I will be crying my hodge podge of tears yet again, for her, as I did for her sister and I will for her brother. Peyton, quickly recovered from his slight, snapped me out of my thoughts with his usual sigh and his declaration "It's gonna be a willy lon day!"
For the first time ever, I found myself hoping he was right. Even though I don't always feel up to it in the moment, I need all the time I can get.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Beautifully written, Carly.
I hope you have lots and lots of long days to enjoy those adorable kiddos.