Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Big K

A post by Big Mama reminded me that in a few short weeks, a lot of mamas will be ripping open their hearts and turning their five year olds over to that big yellow bus that will take them to kindergarten for the first time. Oh, I remember the day Teen Angel got on that bus. There we all were; me, Hubby, Mama J. and Papa T....not to mention the neighbor lady who was putting her granddaughter on the same bus...all standing around like a fan club in the driveway. Hubby swears he wasn't there, but he was, watching from behind a tree pretending not to watch. I shed tears, Mama J. shed tears, our neighbor shed tears. It was one big boo hoo fest. I remember thinking that I would never forget that day as long as I lived. It's such a momentous occasion for kindergartners and their parents. For kindergartners because they know it's the beginning of their independence. For parents because they know it's the first snip in the apron strings, a loud, sharp snip that slices right into the heart. Every now and then I pull out Teen Angel's first day of school picture and smile a smile while shedding a tear.

It makes me feel sad and happy all at the same time. What's that line from Truvey in Steel Magnolias? Laughter through tears is one of my favorite emotions. Last year when several of my friends had youngin's they sent to the school for the first time, I penned a little poem about it. I decided to roll with the emotions of that day and let it all hang out, so grab a hanky if you're the weepy, sappy kind like me and grab a seat on the bus.

Kindergarten Smiles

Notebooks, pencils,
shiny new shoes.
A colorful backpack
bigger than you.

A great big step
to the yellow bus
signals the end of what
was once just us.

A smile, a wave,
you’re on your way.
Your journey without me
begins today.

Will you be scared?
Will you make friends?
I hope you’re smiling when
your first day ends.

From this day on
the years will fly.
Soon you’ll be grown and then
waving goodbye.

Indulge my tears
on this big day
and the catch in my heart as
the bus pulls away.

I share your joy
about this ride,
the doors it will open,
prizes it hides.

But it seems too soon
to let you go
to share you with a world
of troubled souls.

Hurt and sorrow,
anger and crime.
Now they begin to touch
this child of mine.

I pray for strength,
wisdom and peace,
for the power to touch
when out of reach.

Know I’m with you
when we’re apart.
I am your first teacher.
You are my heart.

Laughter through tears
will carry me
through each of your milestones.
I’m fine, you’ll see.

I’ll be right here
when you get home
to share your joy about
the trip alone.

Today’s the first
of many trips
that will open new doors
and sail new ships.

Ignore my tears.
They’re really smiles
for my kindergarten child’s
first learning miles.
Hula Girl
August 2007

4 comments:

mjgolch said...

nice post! hugs and Blessings -Mike

Amy said...

That's beautiful, Hula!
I have always homeschooled my boys, but when my youngest turned five, I was heartbroken.
School was beginning and the baby book was all full.
I was excited watching him grow and learn, but I wanted to hold on to my baby for dear life.:)

karisma said...

beautiful poem!

dkuroiwa said...

That's a beautiful poem. As my youngest will be starting 1st grade in April, I'm sure I will be one of those moms, too...here they have a HUGE ceremony for entering school...it's really a big thing...and pretty emotional for parents, too!
I'm trying to be as excited as Koji is about school...but...I just keep seeing my little boy growing up and though that's an exciting process, I'm already missing when he was a roly-poly baby sitting IN the toilet playing!!