Sitting at my desk, I’m literally sick with nerves. It’s that familiar old mix of dread and anticipation. Will I be smart enough? Will I make friends? Will life still feel safe and good when so much is going to change?
No, I’m not going anywhere. My daughter is. She starts kindergarten this week. The orientation is this afternoon. Wish us luck!
And in my defense, while all this probably sounds like a pathetic case of projection, there’s new stuff ahead for both of us. I know that the Providence public school system is going to take some navigating on my part as well as hers – I’ve already experienced a few bumps, from the intake process to simply getting information from the right person. The school she’ll be attending is one of the better ones, but it’s still going to take some parental smarts to keep things on track. With luck, I’ll find some kindred souls among the other parents to help in this process – not to mention helping me cross the Styxian rivers of sleepovers and homework and other big-kid stuff. Stop growing! I sometimes tell her. It always makes her giggle.
I’ve tried not to communicate my nerves, because of course she has enough to deal with. But she knows something’s up from the orgy of consumer-driven nesting I’ve indulged in over the past couple of weeks. I’ve hit my credit card up in atypical fashion, not only for school clothes and lunch bags, but chests of drawers, kitchen appliances. For the first time in both of our lives, there are no clothes on our bedroom floors.
That won’t last. But her advent into the grown-up world of school calendars and dress codes will. It’s the start of something new, and I’m excited for her, I can’t wait to give her a hug and watch her, twirling and jumping, go confidently forth. And at the same time, I can’t stand it. Good luck, darling girl! You break my heart simply by being you.