My little bunny hopped onto the kindergarten bus for the last time today. She is celebrating her last day of school. I can’t believe how quicky–and how much–she has grown in the last 9 months or so.
When I was pregnant, I marveled in the fact that there was a tiny life inside of me that went from a tiny cluster of cells, differentiating into distinct entities to become a human baby. She was beautiful and perfect. And I thought that was the miracle.
But then others told me, “No, no…just wait. It’s really the first year of life when kids grow the most, change the most.” I was polite and nodded, smiled. I accepted that their view was probably right–they were ahead of me in this parenting game after all.
And it’s true–kids do grow and learn and change very much in that first year. Rolling over, babbling, pushing up, smiling, giggling, crawling…major physical and emotional feats, right?
Yet others told me, “It’s really the first 5 years of a child’s life that are so important in their physical/emotional/academic/social development.” Okay, okay–I’m working as hard and fast as I can as new mom. I am reading all of the “right” books and getting my child involved in classes, playdates, and “enrichment” I can fit into a day. Whew!
Just last year, a mother of grown children said to me, “Now that she’s in school all day, they time will really fly.” Again, I nodded politely and smiled. I am sure she’s right, but what did I know? I’d never had school-aged children.
She was right, of course.
When she started kindergarten just 9+ months ago, my daughter was still struggling with Childhood Apraxia of Speech. I was worried, but she didn’t care. I sent emails to the school and hoped she’d be fine. She was.
When she started school, she couldn’t read much of anything, she’s reading now–simple words–maybe not as well as others-but she’s reading.
When she started school, she knew what an author and illustrator was–but now she is one (sort of)–thanks to the Young Author’s Program in which she “wrote” (dictated) and illustrated “The Gymnast.”
When she started school, we knew she liked art, but now we know she loves it! We can thank the Young Rembrandts Program in which her creativity and confidence grew.
We’ve lost teeth, lunches, and permission slips. We’ve participated in assemblies and dealt with the “the mean girls.” We’ve hosted playdates and birthday parties, and had a reciprocated crush (ugh).
But not only did Kate grow in this last year, but so did I as a parent. You see, this learning thing–well it’s forever.
And that’s what is in my brain today, Thursday June 2nd 2011.