Well, whew! I made it through kindergarten this year! I think I did pretty well. Oh, yeah. And my daughter did quite well herself.
It seems funny now to think of the apprehension I felt as I stood in the doorway on that first day of school while Ben walked her to the bus. He came home and reported how she climbed right up, found a seat and sat down and waved to him from the window.
For the first week Ben took her to the bus stop and I picked her up. Then we sent her off by herself the day Ben had to go in early to work. And she got home just fine the day I forgot to go to the bus stop and retrieve her from the bus. (Oops). Move forward to yesterday when I sent her off, dressed in her Graduation Best, without much of a thought. Bye, sweetie. See you in an hour or so! Kids learn to navigate for themselves pretty quickly.
Not that I always sent her off with no thought at all. I often watched her from the window, as she anxiously called to some kid across the street. "Hey, wait for me!" She was equally inclined to call out to the sixth graders as to the other kindergarteners. (No fear or understanding of hierarchy for that girl!) And when the time rolled around to about 11:37 I started looking out the window. And then stepping outside just in time to see her coming down the street. "Mom!" she'd call happily. That quickly became a favorite part of my day.
Things I liked about kindergarten: It confirmed my daughter's absolute love for school and learning. Which, really, there is nothing better. She may not have learned to build a car, but most of us don't, so that's okay. She had a really great teacher. He was fabulous. Also, her printing improved, she started reading, and she thrived in the dynamics of the classroom. I helped for the Thanksgiving Party and that was a lot of fun. They played Pomp & Circumstance at her kindergarten graduation and it made me laugh.
Things I didn't like about kindergarten: The mid-morning snack was often sugary. The inevitable bumps and bruises of social navigation. Certain requirements for activities, like having everyone wear a shirt with some Disney character for Micky Mouse day. (They were studying M that week) because I avoid buying my kids shirts with characters on them. For many reasons. But whatever. That day went quickly with no harm done.