I wrote this on August 20, 2011 when my now 7 year old went to Kindergarten. My 4 year old, Megan, my youngest, will be signed up to go starting Friday. So.. I repeat these words as all three are now going to be elementary school next year.  Hold me…

Monday marks a major milestone in our family.  Our first daughter will enter Kindergarten.  Our new five year old will head off to school, five days a week, seven hours a day.

Everything is ready.  Her new clothes are washed and folded carefully in her drawers.  Her new tennis shoes are shiny and white and lined up in her closet.  And her school supplies, preordered and delivered to her classroom right before the meet the teacher last night, are sorted and accounted for in the classroom.


She has a name tag, a cubby, a designated place for her backpack and lunch bag, and she has already met some friends that she is excited to see on Monday.

Everything is done.  New.  Clean.  Organized.

Everything is ready.

Except my heart.

My heart is fighting my head.  My head knows that, just as she was in preschool, she will be fine and make friends and get used to her routine in no time.  In fact, she may actually really like school as she did preschool.  She has been asking for weeks if it is time to go.  And I know she will be safe at school.  I am over the fears that a masked man will break in and harm our children.  I gave that to God a long time ago.

But my heart will miss her.  My heart causes tears to spring to my eyes at a moments notice if I think of Monday and what’s to come.  My heart knows that there is really no baby and no toddler left.  She is a real little girl now.  Complete with the complications that come with a child coming into her own.  An attitude, a newly developed crush on boys, and a need to break free of me.  Her constant companion, her main contact, her best friend since before she breathed her first breath.

And just because I know that, eventually,  this will just be the norm in my family, my heart still hurts at the reality that she is growing up.  She was just born yesterday and she will be having her wedding tomorrow.

But as hard as it is for my heart, at least I am finally at a place where I can talk about it.  And in my head, I am looking forward to it for her.   She is getting to that age where she is bored here.  She needs a more skilled teacher, more information and more interaction with other kids!

So when I walk her in Monday morning, hug her good bye and fight the tears of a parent truly having to let go for the first time, I will know that this is the way it is, the progression of childhood, and the necessary steps a parent has to take.

In my head.

In my heart, though, I will be handing over my newborn and begging with every inch of me that they hold and love and care for her as much as I do.

And when I take her sisters home, 3 year old Sarah probably not understanding why she can’t stay at school with her sister – because last year she was right down the hall – Megan wanting to stop at the colorful playground on the way out, I will most likely let the tears fall.  I won’t be able to help it.

But at least I think I can talk about it now.

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