"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be."
~ Douglas Adams
Thursday, September 01, 2011
The Halls of Higher Acadameia
I still remember the day he started Kindergarten. We were living in the city then, not too far away from the elementary school. That seems to be a theme with our places of residence. He was really ready to start the year before, the one that he turned 5, but in NH the cut-off date is September 30th. His birthday is at the tail end of December and they said absolutely not. We spent that year doing alphabet writing and working on sounds and reading simple words and cool workbook pages from a book I picked up at Wal-Mart. The first day of school we walked down the hill together, and he could barely contain his happiness about finally getting to go to school. The whole way home he was chatty and excited about his teacher and his new friends and all the things he had learned, but he was not impressed about rest-time and did they really expect him to nap after lunch?! (for the record, he stopped napping right after Ashley was born when he was 2.5. I should've known then he'd be a handful)
She was not impressed that he could go to school and she had to stay home with me. Oh sure, she could still watch her favorite shows, and play, and take her afternoon nap (she has always been a good napper, in fact, she came home today and took one!), but she wanted to do everything that he did, and boy did school look exciting when we dropped him off. We moved out here the year he started first grade, and she still had one more year to go. She would go down and play on the playground at school during the off hours, and tell me about how she couldn't wait to get there. We got to go to school with her on the first day, as a kind of open house for kindergarten, and I don't know that she ever stopped smiling. Her day was a half day, unlike his full day, and I was secretly thrilled. The year she went off to first grade was the first year that I had them both gone from home all day. What a day that was for me.
Today, I sent them both off to High School. I can't quite wrap my brain around the fact that they are both old enough to be in High School, or that I'm old enough for them to be there. Next year, he will turn 18 during his senior year, and officially be an adult. How did we get here?? Next year, she will turn 16 during the summer after her sophomore year and be able to drive. I look at them, both taller than I am, and maturing in so many different ways, and I don't see responsible adults yet. Oh, I get glimpses, but more often I see toddler-type tantrums and behavior. I read somewhere that teenagers need as much sleep in a night as toddlers, and I decided that they are similar in more ways than that. I feel like I have failed them so often in their lives. There are so many things I could have done better, or said better, or handled better. So many opportunities to turn a situation around, and didn't. So many words said in anger that I wish I could take back. So many times I let my own temper get the best of me, when I could've taken a few breaths and sent myself for a time out. I only pray, that I have somehow, despite all my own failings and shortcomings, given them what they need to go off without me. At this rate, that day will be here in the blink of an eye. I don't know if *I'm* ready.