Oh my goodness Bub, you're a kindergartner. In your five years of being this is the biggest milestone you've met. I'm shocked at how fast this day came. Once I was a naive 21 year old with an aching cesarean incision holding a plump and golden new baby, and it wasn't, I swear, that long ago. I'd swear, even, that it was yesterday. Yesterday that I was first mesmerized by a newborn grin, or absolutely tickled from the inside out with your first hearty growls and giggles. Just yesterday you stamped your feet firmly and walked, yes walked, around our living room at just nine months old. And we were so in awe. So proud and confident you've always been, in five years of yesterdays you've always been the "first" and the "best," always trying so hard. For five whole years we've been in awe of you.
The only thing that moves me more than how quickly this day came is how you're handling it. I keep eying you for signs of jitters. For worry, anxiety, for the wringing of your hands and twisting of your shirt that you do so methodically when something is too heavy on your heart. But not today. Today you are confident and excited, you're so worry free I'm beginning to question if you're even mine. At dinner tonight Daddy asked you how many kids would be in your class and without a pause you blurted out "A hundred! A hundred and one! A hundred seventy billion! Is that even a number?!!?" You're just so excited, Bub. Pure, raw, confident excitement. And that's how I want you to remember this day, with your enchanting excitement that is absolutely addictive to everyone around you.
You're starting such a huge journey, Bubby. Some days it's going to seem so mindless and easy, and others you will wonder where you will get the courage to face the next day. Just know that you are never alone. From now on you are going to feel pressure to "be" so many different things. The cool kid, the smartest kid, the kid that makes the soccer goals when they really matter the most. I want you to know the only thing I want you to be is who you are. Just be my quirky little Minecraft lover who is scared of showers and eats blackberries like they are candy. That's who I want you to be. You. And nice, I want you to be nice. Because you can change so much of the world just by being nice.
I can not wait to see your face when you walk out of school tomorrow, with that crackling grin that you try to clamp down with the corners of your mouth and hide. But I know it's there. I can't wait to see you learn, to watch you sound out the words of your first book, write your first sentence, come home with your first "did you know that..."
Right now you're jumping around the house in your usual bouncy and loud way but you stop and ask me "Mommy, what do you want to do tomorrow?" Startled I shoot back, "Bub! We're going to school!" And you just giggle and keep bouncing.
Keep bouncing and giggling Bubba Bear, you're going to rock kindergarten.