A Kindergarten Vocabulary Lesson

FLUMMOXED: confused

I’ve known this post was coming for weeks now, and I’ve been running through options in my head to try to capture my feelings about Kindergarten in a single word.  Each day, a different feeling seemed to dominate and make a certain word to feel like the most appropriate choice.  Now that the day is here, things aren’t so clear.  I humbly request that you indulge me as I offer several words to capture my jumbled state:

WISTFUL: full of yearning or desire tinged with melancholy, musingly sad, pensive

I’m not prone to waterworks and I don’t expect to cry today, but I’m giving myself room to feel “musingly sad.” And, my yearnings and desires are indeed tinged with a bit of melancholy.  This day marks a significant step in Son’s journey to independence.  Husband and I have done the best we knew how to prepare Son for this day and now we get to see if we got it right.  There is a finality that comes with the bell ringing to tell us that the time for preparation is over.  Suddenly, I can think of a million things I forgot to teach him.

The signs that Son was growing were stacking up (and tipping over), but the first day of kindergarten is like a megaphone in my ear making sure I got the message.  The world sees my big kid as ready.  And, I mostly do too.  But, as his mom I have the privilege of witnessing his little boy moments, like when he cries because he is missing his green blanket at bedtime.  Those moments make it hard to send him unchaperoned into a world that will be full of hard knocks on his tender heart.  So, yeah…my yearning and desires for a great year ahead and many more to follow are tinged with a few sad musings today.

NOSTALGIC: yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition

I know that Son’s Kindergarten teacher will hold a special place in his life from this day forward.  She will comfort him when he is sad, reprimand him when he is naughty, teach him when he is attentive, and help him when he needs assistance.  He will think she knows everything and can fix anything.  Years from now he will remember her fondly.  He will love her.  She is about to step on my turf.  And, it makes a small part of me defensive.  I want to be the only omniscient, omnipotent woman in his life.  I want to continue to be a witness to all his moments – big and small.  But, alas that is not possible and would make me dangerously close to the mom in the creepiest children’s book ever.  So, I will send him off to love another.  But, if she breaks his heart I will kick her ass.

APPREHENSIVE: capable of understanding or quick to do so, discerning, having awareness or knowledge of something, cognizant, viewing the future with anxiety or alarm

Isn’t that an interesting definition?  It captures both a sense of understanding and a sense of alarm.  It’s essentially well-informed panic.  Discerning anxiety.  That’s what I have.  I understand what lies ahead for Son and that understanding naturally leads to a little worry.  He is about to enter a world full of outside influences; a world full of people I don’t know.  Some will be blessings in his life – some will not.

He will be exposed to words he’s never heard and may expose other children to words they’ve never heard; he will be on the receiving end of unkind actions and will likely take a turn being unkind to others.  He will need to learn to navigate this new terrain without me whispering encouragement or reprimands in his ear.  He will be forced to make difficult choices, deal with disappointment, try and fail, and press on when the going gets tough.   And, while I recognize that all these things are part of growing up – just like bad skin and clumsiness in the teenage years – it won’t be easy to watch.

PROUD: much pleased

My kid rocks.  I’m excited that more people to have a chance to realize that fact.

RELIEVED: experiencing or showing relief especially from anxiety or pent-up emotions

There has been a lot of hype leading up to this day.  Play dates.  Potlucks.  Supply lists.  Classroom tours.  Forms.  Lots and lots of forms.  A large part of me simply ready to be done with the pre-game warm ups.  Win or lose, I’m ready.  Let’s do it!

THIRSTY: deficient in moisture, parched, highly absorbent

To my friend Jess who arranged for all the preschool parents to meet for brunch and mimosas today, I offer a hearty “Thank You” for your foresight.



9 thoughts on “A Kindergarten Vocabulary Lesson

  1. THANK YOU Defining Motherhood for putting ALL my feelings into words as my baby (scratch that), my big 5 year old goes off to ALL DAY kindergarten! Sigh….. Once again you so eloquently capture a big moment in the in kingdom of motherhood.

  2. This totally spoke to me! My oldest is going to Kindergarten and I’ve been excited and scared as hell for the new chapter. I’m also grieving the loss of years past. Lovely essay

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