Cap and gown time

Tomorrow my sweets, my youngest, the one who I thought would break me when she was a toddler, graduates from Pre-K. Before having kids, I’d see people posting pictures of their kids graduating Pre-K and it seemed…strange. Unnecessary? But like most things that I thought before having kids, I was wrong.

Her going to kindergarten in the fall makes me think  of where she was when she started in the 3 year old class, coming home with a note within the first few weeks for throwing her food on the floor because she didn’t like what I had packed (where does she get this stuff from? *clearing throat*). Or when she got another note because she refused to share. Or later on in the year when they couldn’t tell me how high she could count after her end-of-year assessment because she refused telling her teacher, “I’m don’t have to count. I’m a princess and princesses don’t have to count. Don’t ask me again.”

After the first year in preschool she was terrified of getting in trouble. After the first note she was grounded for T.V. for a day. So she barely spoke. When they took her picture, she’d stare but not smile.

She’s never enjoyed reading. I’d read a few pages and she’d make me put the book down. Every time. She and her brother were night and day. He loved when I read to him, even as a baby. As soon as he could walk he’d bring me book after book to read. Then I discovered Pinkalicious. And suddenly, we could read to her. Not usually more than one book, but the whole book.

This year, she decided she wanted to learn to read before kindergarten. She told me it was her “goal”. She finished her baggie book program early and when I read with her now, she’s sounding out words, some of which she is able to read right away.

My girl, who didn’t care about learning the way her brother did, loves to learn. She’s excited about starting kindergarten and mad that she only went to school 2 days a week this year. She pushes herself and challenges herself. She’s kind and loving and honest. She is who she is and doesn’t care who knows it. She’s just the right mixture of myself and her dad that we’re both terrified.

This girl, this girl has changed and grown into such a big kid that she absolutely needs a ceremony to signify that she’s going to the big kid school in the fall. She needs to put on that cap and gown and walk across the stage. I’m going to lose it. I’m going to cry and sob like a giant baby. And not just because I’m taking a Valium earlier when my mom takes me to have a mole cut out and stitched up (I’m so nervous!), but because this kid is my last baby. My last first day of preschool, my last Pre-K graduation. There won’t be Mommy dates while her big brother is in school, because she’s going to be there too. This part is over. I know from how things changed with her brother that they are going to change with her too. Most of her time is going to be school time. Not Mommy time. It’s a different phase. Exciting? Yes, and not just for her. But, still sad. I’m going to miss our time together, just the two of us.

Tomorrow night, I will clap and cry and force her to take pictures in her cap and gown. Congratulations to my sweets. She is a big girl now.


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