Sunday, June 5, 2011

Her first graduation. And of course I cried.

It's officially summer for me. The two markings of this are obviously my first sunburn of the year and the first end of a school year. That's right, Olivia graduated 4K (otherwise known as four year old Kindergarten/Pre-K) a few weeks ago and it feels weird.

Like, in my head I know she's got to grow up sometime. In my head I know that this is the first of many academic achievements for her and that I just need to get used to it. Except I can't because it feels like all of the hard work it's taken to get to this point means nothing. Nothing because it feels like all of the really hard stuff is to come. So never mind all the times I cried because I felt like a terrible mom, all the times I was up through the night trying to get her to go back to sleep, all of the time outs and temper tantrums. I look back over the last five years and I feel like I've been through a war. And it's terrifying because I feel like I haven't even had a warm up to the real battles that are coming. Does that make sense?

So I contemplated all of this while my baby graduated.

Olivia leaving our house for graduation. Seriously, go back and look at her first day of preschool and you'll see such a difference.
 This was the class getting ready to line up. She was pretty nervous because, despite the hysterical things she says, she is actually a pretty shy kid. She doesn't really like getting up in front of people. But she practiced the songs all week so I thought for sure she'd do everything Miss Amy taught her.
But then she got nervous. She sang very quietly and stood exactly still. She didn't do any of the dance moves but she was absolutely adorable.
 She kept telling me all week that they made their own hats so it was cute to see her wearing it. And obviously, I had to get a picture with her and her diploma.
And just like at the beginning of the year I had to get my picture taken with her. But man. I look at this picture and I see how much bigger she's gotten. She's losing the baby in her face so fast and she's growing to be a big girl. I'm not ready. I miss my little peanut that wanted to sit on my lap and read books all day. Or the girl who wanted to watch Baby Einstein movies over and over again because she thought the puppets were hilarious.

In my head I know this is how it is for every parent but I'm struggling with it. I feel like every day she grows more and more independent and further away from me. I've heard that once they start real school it's like they aren't even yours anymore. They are so influenced by everyone else other than you and sometimes it's hard to reconcile that. As much as I hope for her to grow up and how I can't wait to see what kind of woman she'll grow up to be, there's a bigger part of me screaming I'm not ready. But alas.. I don't have a choice. She starts Kindergarten in the fall and I'm nervous already.

But I've had people ask me if I would recommend a preschool/Kindergarten readiness class and I say yes. Sure, some of the kids were weird. One of the boys was a biter. Some of the kids have no discipline at home or were rather unruly. But at the end of the day... that's just life. You'll get these people in the work place someday (hopefully not the biter? Unless you're into that kind of thing I suppose.) and my kids have to learn how to work with weirdos. Because fact is? Most people are weirdos. And I will tell you that she has changed dramatically in a lot of ways, primarily her self confidence and how outgoing she is. Surprisingly, she learned far more in 4K than I ever thought she would. She's counting syllables, knows about magnetic poles, loves math and science, learning beginning addition, etc. So it was a good thing for her. And me too, I suppose.

So yes. I'm going to enjoy the time I have with her this summer because it might be the end of her baby stage. And I can't lie, I'm kind of sad.


Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Yes the grow up so fast my first grandson Blain is now at big school he is 5yrs old and his first day he looked so small and timid but now we gets to school he drops his bag and runs off to find his friends........
we want them to grow up and be strong independent people but watching it happens is so scary.

Oilfield Trash said...

Enjoy everyday you can with your kids as one day you will wake up and they will be leaving home for college. It goes by too quickly.

Ruth said...

I've never felt like my daughter wasn't mine once she started school.
I think it all depends on the child.
My daughter just graduated 8th grade on Thursday.

Canadianbloggergirl said...

Your post this time, was so heart felt. I loved it. It shows the emotional side of yourself which is awesome!
My daughter doesn't start school for another year and a bit (next Sept) and I look forward to it in some ways and in others I do not.

She is an only child and loves to play with other children and loves to be active. So in this sense for her it is great. It will also allow me to go back to my career that I put on hold while she was growing up to school age.

In other ways, like you say, I'm not looking forward to it, because I lose the control of what she is exposed to and her wanting to "need" ME and not other's.


Ang said...

congrats to your little girl - what a great milestone!!

Kattrina said...

Aww, what a cutie! When did they start with all these graduations?? My first graduation was high school - no kindergarten, no middle school, nothing. Those ceremonies are adorable though! I'm sure that things will get harder but I think they will also get easier. Or maybe the things that are hard now will become easier but the things that are easier now will become harder. You'll do great though, so don't worry too much. Congrats to the grad!!

P.S. I got my cards on Saturday!!! Thanks so much - I love them!!!

Dana said...

Aw, so cute! She's all grownz up! :)