Sunday, June 03, 2012

kindergarten to congratulations

it's no secret that i am usually a sentimental mess.  it's not uncommon for my oldest son to look at me and say something like...

"'re doin' good.  you're holding it together."


"MOM!!!  ARE YOU CRYING??????"

for the last six years...if you would have asked me how i'd handle this past friday...i would have summed up my emotional state with two words:

"hot mess." snuck up on me.  the distractions of the last week of school, teacher gifts, graduation gifts, being one of six parents, or so, in charge of throwing a graduation party for the entire 5th grade, etc. etc. etc...facilitated this "suppressing emotions" thing that is completely foreign to me.

when my alarm went off on friday morning...i was instantly taken back to colton's first day of kindergarten six years ago.

i didn't have a blog then...but i did record the day in a journal.


my journal entry from august 10, 2006:

this morning the alarm went off at 6:40am.  some mornings, i tap the snooze button without thinking twice, but this morning was different.  this morning, i hit snooze and tried to go back to sleep for the extra ten minutes, but i knew that it wasn't going to happen.  it took no time for me to remember what the next hour and twenty minutes had in store for me this morning:  getting colton, my first little colton lloy, my punkin, my his first day of kindergarten.  what????  how could it be here already?  i've always been told that the time with your kids at home will fly by, but seriously?  it could not already be time to let him go.  this is the same kid that i have spent all day with...every day...since he was born 5 years, 6 months, 27 days and six minutes ago.  this is the same kid that i had trouble leaving...even for one hour...when he was a baby.  i was uncomfortable without him.  i was missing something and missing him. 

i tried to make yesterday, his official last day at home with me, special.  we went to meet his teacher and see the classroom; to his guitar lesson; and to target to pick out stuff for his cool, new, superman lunchbox.  i got special baseball stick-it notes because, after all, he has never taken a lunchbox to pre-school without a note from me in it and he was not about to start now.  then we celebrated at mr. gatti's last night for an early dinner.  and then before bed...we read the two new books together:  Miss Bindergarten gets Ready for Kindergarten and Twas the Night Before Kindergarten.  i, of course cried and he hugged me for comfort. 

i've digressed.  i did hit the snooze button, but instead of drifting right back to sleep, i turned over to see my baby sleeping next to me-having no idea what today was......the first day of the next twenty years, or so, of school...of growing up...of maturing...of not needing me so much anymore.  i rubbed his back.  he's always loved that.  and i gently woke him up.  i rolled out of bed and started getting dressed in the bathroom while he rested.  i pulled on my favorite jeans...somehow i thought they could bring me comfort...and chose my new, light pink t-shirt that said "FREE" on it...hoping it would bring me courage.  i pulled my hair back into a ponytail bun thing that my kids see every day and put on some make-up for good measure.  while i was doing that, colton asked what i was doing.  i said, "i want to look good for your first day of kindergarten"...half kidding...because who really cares what i look like?  i guess he was not anticipating this like i was, becasue he said, "my first day of kindergarten is today???"  after all of the talk yesterday, going to meet his teacher, and touring the school...he had forgotten.  was this a good sign or a bad one, i wondered?  then he said, "i'm tired.  i'm afraid i'm going to have to cancel for today.  i'm too sick."  uh-oh.  i put on the finishing touches of pink lip gloss and walked out of the bathroom.  he was still laying in bed.  he said, "you look good."  i said, "thanks."  then he said, "you look better that good."  i smiled and said, "you're sweeter than sweet."  he smiled that point...i knew he was going to be fine.  there is an unspoken bond between a mother and a son where a smile or facial expression can actually tell you things like that.  we proceeded on as planned...although he didn't finish his pancakes, strawberries and blueberries, like usual.  i let this slide.  we took a whole roll of film and shot some video.

  then it was time.  chad stayed with chase and aiden as i ushered colton out the door with his new camouflage backpack and superman lunchbox (with base-ball love note included).  we parked and got out for the walk that i had been dreading for months.  the walk...were the destination found me alone.  we got to his class and by this point he was being so patient to humor me with all my picture taking and video shooting.  he would comply when i wanted him to pose next to the welcome to bauerschlag sign and then at the welcome to kindergarten sign and then at his classroom door.

  i held his hand the whole way in.  we walked into the classroom, filled with kids.  i smiled at the teacher but was completely focused on not missing my last minutes with my baby...which were now only seconds.  i took a couple of last pictures and video of him hanging up his backpack.  he sat down and i knelt beside him.  i told him that i loved him and that i was really proud of him and to have a good day and that i would see him at 3:00.  at this point, the best thing happened.  i could tell he wanted me to go.  he was ready.  i said, "hugs and kisses" and put my arms around him on last time.  i wished that embrace could have lasted forever.  i stood up and walked out.  of course, i stopped at the door, turned around, and took two more pictures of him already coloring at his seat.  he looked up and gave me that huge colton smile...the same one that you can see in his one year picture of him standing in his overalls...and he waved good-bye. 

 i waved too...and then turned to walk away.  that is when i felt different.  awkward.  where do i go?  my eyes seemed in a gaze and my head in a fog.  that was a long walk.  much longer than the walk into the school...because this time...i didn't have his hand to clutch.  i got into the car to drive home to be greeted by chad, chase and nothing out of the norm had just happened.  after a while, i felt like writing it all order to remember all of the details that are always so important to me.  after is in those details.  now...all i have to do is wait;  wait for 3:00......when my baby comes home.  3 hours and 47 minutes to go.  then i can hug him for as long as i want.  or at long as he'll let me.


so...this passed friday when my alarm went off...i tried to hit snooze and go back to sleep.  i found that i couldn't.  i slipped out of bed and put on my favorite sundress.  while i stood in front of the mirror...applying the mascara that i knew would end up tear streaked...i instantly remembered doing the very same thing on colton's first day of kindergarten.  i remembered how i felt that morning.  i remembered it like it was yesterday.

and that's when it happened.  that's when the lump that would remain in my throat for the remainder of the morning, formed.  that's when the tears welled up.  and that's when i felt the gravity of time passing so quickly.

we all got ready and headed to the school together.  this time, it would be our whole family...parents, grandparents, great-grandparent...showing up to celebrate him.  this would be colton's last day of elementary school.

he was 1 of 28 kids out of the entire 5th grade to receive the President's Award for Educational Excellence for meeting the highest academic standards.

i could not be more proud of my oldest son.


a lot has happened since that first day of kindergarten.  two of his younger siblings have followed in his footsteps.  that kindergarten teacher became their kindergarten teacher as well as a close, family friend.  i still wear my hair in the messy bun.  and time still passes just as fast.

congratulations, colton.

i love you more than you know.

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