On The Brink Of Becoming A Kindergartner

by Nikki Nardell

To My Sweet Boy on the Eve of Kindergarten,

I can’t believe we are here.

You are fast asleep—lovies in hand, kindergarten glitter sprinkled on your pillow, surrounded in your bed full of toys, books and stuffed animals. I’m sure you have a secret binky in there too, just in case the mystery noises in the closet wake you up in the middle of the night and you can’t fall back to sleep. I know the drill. I pretend I don’t see it every morning when I make your bed. I tuck it back under your pillow because I know you think it keeps you safe, but if we are being honest, I know you having a secret binky keeps you my little boy just a bit longer. I will keep your secret safe if you keep mine.

Tomorrow is a big day for us, sir: kindergarten. Even typing it momentarily takes my breath away. I have thought about this day, just about everyday, for the past 6 years. It always seemed so far away. Now it is just mere hours away—and while I know you are more than ready for this new adventure you are about to begin—I’m not so sure mommy will fare as well.

For years I have wondered how I would caption that quintessential “kindergarten, here he comes” picture. Would I say something snarky and witty about what your teachers are in for, or would I go with the standard how-is-this-happening disbelief? But the more time I put into how I would capture that very moment, the most fitting words I could come up with are simply: Thank you.

Thank you for being my gift.

©Nikki Nardell

Thank you for turning my life around and allowing me to find my purpose.

Thank you for making me a mother.

Thank you for reminding me to cling to the little things and ironically, teaching me how to love and let go.

You will always be my greatest accomplishment. You will always be my first look at pure unconditional love. It is cliché, but true—watching you is seeing my heart beat outside of my body.

Parenthood is a terribly tricky deal. At first you find yourself with this completely dependent, helpless little soul who literally clings to you for life. It is overwhelming and all-consuming in those early months and years. It can be filled with routine, doubt and defeat. I once read a mother state, “I will look back and realize at some point I will put you down and never pick you up again.” I repeat those words daily and try to remind myself to not take any of these small moments of childhood for granted, because I know in the blink of an eye, all those sleepless nights and tantrums will have become a distant memory and I will find myself standing beside an emerging little man. That is when the real hard part of parenting begins, the letting go.

©Nikki Nardell

Letting go is the worst. It takes both faith and courage and I am sometimes lacking in both departments. I will be honest, the last 6 years we have spent home together have been a lot about me and my free-spirited, mama-bird venture into motherhood. The pictures, the blogs, the adventures—that was all me trying to live out every motherhood dream I had envisioned, but as you step up onto the bus tomorrow your story will be set in motion. Your dreams will start to unfold. You will be one step closer to becoming the big kid you were meant to be, and one step further from mommy’s little boy.

I will miss our daily adventures, I will miss your little hand holding mine as we eat our way thru the grocery store, or snuggling on the couch watching “Curious George” marathons while the twins (pretend to) nap, but I know the trade-off will be worth it. I eagerly await to hear stories about the friends you’ve made, your new teachers, “the way we do it at school.” It is a bittersweet day indeed because I know that bus is taking you one step closer to being “all growed up,” and I can do nothing but sit back and watch and hope and pray that I have given you most of what you need to take on the big wide world that is waiting for you.

You’ve got this, kiddo. If ever there was a kid ready to take on the world, it is definitely you! “Oh, the places you will go!” You are everything I ever dreamed of in a son. You are smart and funny and a natural born leader. You have a style and swagger all your own. Most importantly, you know how to own who you are—I hope you never lose that! So when you get on that bus tomorrow, I won’t shed a tear because my little boy is leaving me, I will shed happy tears of pride for the little man you are becoming.

So, tomorrow you wake up a kindergartner. I hope this school year is the start of amazing things to come! I hope you make new friends and learn exciting things! Always remember Mommy’s rules: Be kind to everyone, question everything, and (no matter what) always be you—just minus the “poopy butt” talk and gun obsession.

©Nikki Nardell

Love you to the moon and back and more than all the stars in between,

Love, Mommy