To My Girl Heading to K5

Dear Sydney,

This week, you will start your next adventure in K5. All day Kindergarten. We met your teacher last week and I could tell you were nervous. I could tell you were excited to be back at Cumberland but nervous to be in a new classroom with a new teacher. Your new teacher seems great. Her name is Ms. Beck. We saw a bunch of your friends and dropped off your supplies. There are only a few kids in your class whose names we recognized. Your besties are mostly together in a different classroom but I didn’t tell you that they are together. I just told you that they weren’t in your class. After we dropped off your supplies, we went upstairs to see your after school room. Your after school care moved this year into a different classroom that seems much bigger. We saw your favorite teachers from last year and we were both very excited. I’m happy to see that my favorite before and after school care teachers came back this year including one from the other school whom we both love. After you played for a bit, we went to have a Popsicle¬†and saw more friends. After your popcicle we had to stop back at your classroom to ask your teacher what you will learn this year. It was so sweet to watch her get down on her knees and tell you all the things you will learn. You will learn to read and write words. But don’t worry if you don’t already know how to. You will learn about trees and soil and weather. Yesterday you asked me a lot of questions about the clouds. I didn’t know all the answers but reminded you that you would likely learn about clouds in K5. You remembered and told me that when you do, you will tell me all about it. I can’t wait.

I also signed you up for Daisy Scouts last week. Since I was a Girl Scout during most of my school years, I can’t wait to see how much you love it. You will be a Daisy Scout for two years. The first year, you will work with your troop to earn your petals and the second year you will work on earning badges for your vest.

I can’t wait to see how much you learn this year. I just know you will have a great time in K5 and make tons of new friends. I can’t wait to see how many words you learn and how quickly you start to read. I’m so excited for you to start reading to me.

I love you sweet girl,

Love, Mama.

Shattered Glass

It’s not uncommon for music to pull at my heartstrings. It’s not uncommon for tears to fill my eyes when I hear a great new song by one of my favorite artists. I’ve written about music before.

Over the last several weeks, one of my favorites, Brad Paisley, has been leaking songs from his new album which comes out next week. The songs have been good. Some a bit different from his norm and some with his humor. That’s one of the things I love about him. His albums are full of love and laughter. Today, he let Ellen leak another new song called Shattered Glass. I saw the leak earlier today but didn’t have time to listen until now. I cried. Like a baby. Elephant tears and all. I love the concept of this song. Every single word. Encouraging us to go ahead and shatter the glass of whatever it is that’s holding us back.

Tonight I listened. And I cried. I cried for promise of the future of my baby girl. I cried for the promise of my own future. This song is good. Really really good. And just in case Brad is reading this, Thank You. Thank you for this song. Thank you for all your songs. And Thank you for the encouragement.

Here’s the song:

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A New Camp. Parenting is Hard.

Today was the first day of a new week long camp for Sydney. It’s at our local JCC and called Adventure Camp. I didn’t do much to prepare her because it didn’t occur to me that she would be thrown into a group of kids and teachers that neither of us had ever met. We left home, drove a little farther than normal and I dropped her off. There weren’t any introductions (because I am an idiot). The teachers didn’t reach out and after handing over forms, signing her in and about 5 minutes of reassurance that she would have fun, I left. After a lot of hugs and one longer and tighter one that included a whisper “I don’t want to stay here”, I left my only child in the hands of strangers. I know they do a great job at the JCC which is why I sent her there in the first place. But I left her there. I didn’t find out anyone’s name. I didn’t introduce her to any teachers or other kids and I don’t know why.

I left the room and she watched me only for a second. She didn’t come running after me. She didn’t cry. When she knew I was gone, she didn’t try running away. I watched through the window for a moment and she just stood watching other kids. The picture of my child in a room full of strangers will be burned into my brain for quite a while.

I spent the next several hours freaking out that she was scared and they she didn’t play with anyone. I knew that wasn’t the case but it was going through my head. It was going through my head that she was lost and no one realized it because no one knew her name. The guilt of being a working mother is strong today. During my tearful hyperventilating freak out this morning, I made a deal with myself that if she didn’t want to go back then I would keep her with me the rest of the week. That’s certainly an expensive day of camp. Then I called just after they boarded the bus to the field trip and I was assured that everyone was happy and they were off to day of fun at the water park.

When I picked her up, I spoke to the teacher. They had a great day at the water park just like they planned. They will be taking field trips all week. She was laughing and playing with other kids when I got there and it took her a few moments to realize I was there. She did fine. And it sure seems like she wants to go back tomorrow.

Parenting is so hard. If I had my way, I would have just stayed home with her these last two weeks of summer. Lucky for both of us we’ll be able to hang out at home for a bit next week.

Update: While i realized her face was showing signs of sunburn, I didn’t realize how bad it was until I put her in the shower. It turns out the teachers let her put sunscreen on by herself. She’s 5. You can imagine how well that turned out.

And Then You Were 5

And then you were 5.
But just before, I sit in your room after you fall asleep. I do it every night. But tonight I sit a little while longer. 5 years old. It’s such a milestone. Not that other birthdays aren’t but 5. Half a decade. 5 years of anything is a quite a feat in my book.
Headed to 5K soon. You’ve been in all day school or daycare your whole life so this might not be much different for you. Your mama and daddy work so we count on others to take good care of you. But 5K. All day school. You’re ready. You’re being a little stubborn about the reading but I know you’re ready. Your math skills are something to be proud of. You’ve been doing math in your head for months now. You love to rhyme and sing. Making up songs is a favorite, just like daddy. You’re sweet and kind, stubborn and sassy. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m reminded that you are the perfect mix of me and your dad every day. Both a bit stubborn for yourself and willing to move mountains for anyone else.
Reflecting on the last 5 years if your life, we’ve had broken bones and had stitches. Bumps and bruises. More sleepless nights than I care to remember. More sweet “I love you’s” than I could ever count. Most recent memory was this morning. You were downstairs before me. You shouted “Mom Mom Mom Mom” until I stopped on my way back up the stairs. To which I said “Sydney Sydney Sydney WHAT?!” You matter of factly said, “I love you.” You knew I needed to stop and hear it. You’re a smart little girl who just knows. You worry about your big sister more than you should. You love your friends and the park. You love Tball, gymnastics and swim class.
You are my sunshine, my purpose and my favorite human. (You call people humans all the time.)
Happy 5th Birthday my sweet girl!

Photo by Jenny Longlais Photography

Photo by Jenny Longlais Photography