Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mixed Emotions: Ready or Not

So, tomorrow is the day.  Baby girl begins her first day in kindergarten.  I've been wondering why I have mixed emotions when people ask me if I am excited or not.  While I am so proud of the little girl she is and the woman she is becoming, I admit I've been dreading this day.

Many people said that I would be sad because I wouldn't want her to grow up.  Yet, as I walked around the store this afternoon gathering the last bit of her school supplies, what really was causing me angst became clear to me.  First, kids are cruel.  I have spent purposeful time telling...drilling into her that she is smart and beautiful inside and out.  I desperately want her to be convinced that she is absolutely wonderful.  In the still of my thoughts today I drifted off to the memories of kids being cruel to me, making me sit on the floor on the bus, pushing and hitting me and the cruel things that were said.  Like a ton of bricks it hit me there's a thin line between preparing her for the challenges of life and putting my baggage on her.  That is part of my story and I can't worry that it will become part of her's.  I still want her to know it though.  Even the healthiest of self-esteems are challenged...especially by kids in school.

Lastly, I realized today that I don't like the idea of grades.  For the next twenty years or so, baby girl will be judged not by her effort but by her performance and then rated on a scale of numbers.  I've never been worried about the reflection of grades, but for my daughter I find myself rooting for her as if she's in a competition with the grade scale. 

Now that my real apprehensions have surfaced, I know I need to do the work to move through them.  The fact is she is a gorgeous, bright, engaged little girl and my job is to be the best company on her journey I can be. 

Now, off to flat iron the big girl's hair.

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