This post was inspired by Stacey Shubitz’ slice ‘A Pang.”
I’m participating in the daily March Slice of Life Challenge #SOL22 by the Two Writing Teachers!
Right before school started in August, my daughters and I visited the “Duck Park.” It was a beautiful day and we were enjoying our last moments of summer together. Soon, I would be sending my baby off to kindergarten and my first baby off to second grade. I wasn’t quite sure how we had arrived at this very big crossroad.
When we arrived, Amelia was over the moon when she realized her soon to be second grade teacher was at the park with her young son. Our Amelia is shy, always hesitant when meeting new adults. She makes friends easily, but it takes time with adults. With her soon to be second grade teacher there were no hesitations. She was chatting with her and running and playing and feeding ducks with her son.
This unexpected meet and greet made Amelia even more excited about starting school. She instantly felt connected to her new teacher. As teachers, we understand the positive impact of these connections.
Fast forward, Amelia has had an incredible year. She has grown leaps and bounds and is always sharing stories about her amazing second grade teacher or painting pictures for her. She is always spotting things in the store, “Mrs. would really love that!”
Rewind. As Amelia was chatting and running and playing with her soon to be second grade teacher, I pushed Emmalee on the swing, a rarity these days as she liked to pump and swing by herself. I could not believe that I was sending my baby off to kindergarten–into the real world. Sure, she had attended school (daycare) since she was a baby. But daycare felt like family. Both my husband and I had worked with the teachers we entrusted our babies with, and then our toddlers, and lastly our preschoolers. They knew us and we knew them. Kindergarten felt different.
Kindergarten was proof that my baby wasn’t really a baby anymore.
We spotted a lone duck waddling near the water. “What do you think that duck is doing, Emmalee?”
She giggled and responded, “She’s a super spy on a super sneaky mission. Look! She’s keeping an eye on the Gooses over there.”
“This sounds like the beginning of a story.”
She giggled some more. “Where’d she go?”
“Ouu! You’re right! Look. She’s ducked down, really low, out of sight. I think she’s trying to get more information about the goose family.”
“Look! Look! The super sneaky spy is in the water. I repeat. She’s in the water!”
We spent the rest of the morning adding to the super sneaky spy duck story and when we got home, Emmalee and Amelia ran to get paper and markers. I knew this school year would feel a little bit different, but I also knew Emmalee was ready to share her stories in the real world.