Today, you brought home a classroom assignment. It was a photocopy of a number five that your mother had fished out of your backpack and that you had traced a number of times – each with a different crayon. Blue, Green, Red, Yellow, Purple…
Your mother shares it with me as I come home from work and you welcome me with excited tales of how you got to choose a prize for reading 20 stories. Our bedtime stories that I had meticulously chronicled each night for the past 10 days opened up treasures of pens with beads glued to it and a small box of crayons.
I smile at you both and I am struck by the change in you. The change from four to five years took place only six weeks ago. The change from preschool to kindergarten took place only 12 days ago. And yet, the change in you cannot be measured. You have both tackled a new chapter in your life better than I could have imagined or, perhaps, feared. You are both enjoying your own teacher, being apart for the better part of a day, and have thrived not only in school but socially as well. You have flourished where I feared utter failure. I shall try not to underestimate you again.
You both have adjusted to taking the bus to school. It took TheMonk five seconds to adjust while it took Swee’Pea five days. But you adjusted. And now, as I see you onto the bus (Kindergartners board first!) each morning and we wait for the other children to board the bus, we make eye contact and play a game of seeing as who can make the silliest faces. I always win. But you’re getting better.
And each day your mother greets you at the bus stop and shares your brilliant smiles as you come home from your latest adventure. And as you share your day with Mommy while eating an afternoon snack and drinking pink milk, your mother texts me any important news.
*TheMonk got to bring home Millie the Monkey today*
*Swee’Pea was the Star Student today*
And as I race home to celebrate Star Students or to help take Millie the Monkey on a bike ride, I am reminded that this only happens once. Only once will you be so excited to show me that you can write the number two. Only once will I hear stories of who brought home the coveted blue cards (while also hearing who in class brought home the dreaded red card). Only once will I get to call my two little ones Kindergartners.
And at the end of the day, as we read our two bedtime stories while fighting a case of the grouchies because of your afternoon nap has been yanked away so suddenly, I savor the moment. For I know that before long you will be reading your own stories and my role will be as listener and not reader. And while that moment might come five months from now.
It’s gonna seem like five seconds.