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Growing pains

September 6, 2009 - Jennifer Brookens
My daughter has been anxiously awaiting kindergarten ever since she was 3, and now she's only days away from stepping on the big yellow school bus and making that a reality. And until a few days ago, I was just as excited. I mean, with all-day kindergarten, that cuts the daycare bill in half (which by far exceeds the mortgage as our biggest monthly expense).

But now I feel a little bit of heaviness in my heart realizing my little girl is growing up. Maybe it will be that symbolic "getting on the bus for the first day," even though she's been riding the smaller school buses for preschool for the past two years. As much as I want to hold on, I know that just like her first day of preschool, she'll hang up her backpack and say, "You can go now, Mom."

There's been a few more changes in my daughter as she prepares to become a "school-age" kid. She's exchanged her love for "Dora the Explorer" for "iCarly" (Nickelodeon's weapon against Hannah Montana, which we've managed to resist so far). I walked in on her practicing a "booty dance" the other day (yes, the description says it all!) And I've started seeing shades of the surly/pouty/sassy teenager I will have to deal with, maybe much sooner than I think.

But at least for now, she still tells me what a great mom I am. And I better record it in that sweet little voice now to play back through those terrible teens, because I probably won't hear those words again until she's 30.

The other day, she asked me if I would go to school with her on her first day. I smiled and assured her that she would be just fine; that she would be so excited about riding the bus and meeting all her new classmates that she wouldn't need me. Now here's hoping I stay strong enough not to take her up on her offer.

 
 

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