Look out first grade

It turns out, the last day of Kindergarten is more emotional than the first. Who knew?

Certainly not I, despite having planned my work trip this week to ensure I’d be home for it. I was more fixated on driving my daughter to the last day of school, ensuring her last day’s lunch was a special one, and scheduling my conference calls perfectly so I could be at the bus stop when she got off for this last time. Between landing at the airport, my sons’ camp parent meeting and rushing to get teacher gift cards last night, I didn’t have time to focus on anything more than the logistics.

Bam! 

This afternoon, she stepped off the bus holding a big brown bag with a pink flyer reading, “Look out first grade. Here I come!”  Physically, it was filled with her writing journal, photos and artwork representing all she’d learned this schoolyear.  I am certain inside was also the specter of the just-past-five-year-old girl she was last September, a tiny thing nervously climbing into the impossibly big yellow school bus who threw a shaky smile over her shoulder before disappearing into its bowels and the seat next to Charlie.

I won’t say it all happened in a blink of the eye, this transition from just-past-toddler to bonafide GIRL.  In some ways, looking back at who she and my sons were then, last September seems long, long ago. Still, somehow, I think much of this time got lost in the logistics.

The logistics of the nanny schedule, the kindergarten enrichment program, the pre-school carpool juggling, the ice skating, the sports classes, the soccer games, the birthday parties, the doctor and dentist appointments between work meetings and conference calls, the long lunch hours to be school Centers mom at least once and work with the room moms for one school party, the Parent Publishing, the school Foundation meetings, the parent-teacher conferences, the meetings with the principal, the school fundraisers, and the scheduling of playdates to which I almost never was the one driving.

Logistics are what make my life workable; focusing on them is so necessary it’s become kind of rhythmic. The minutes between life’s locations become tatooed on the brain so that managing to pull off a trifecta of driving from daughter’s ice skating lesson to sons’ preschool to home office for the start of a team conference call all can be done in 15 minutes if one knows the timing of stoplights at the various intersections.  Managing the details and timing of day-to-day life in our household while simultaneously working is something I’m refining to a kind of art, or perhaps science.

Is the focus on logistics allowing me to manage our life or does it push out the ability to enjoy the spontaneous, to leave time open for whatever may crop up and still enjoy it?  Sometimes, I wonder. But, as I watched my daughter today, I thought we weren’t doing too badly.  This beautiful little girl coming off the school bus with the big brown bag — the one who dashed across the street to get the mail before rushing in the house to make sure she didn’t miss Kimpossible — she had a great year, learned a great many things and made great new friends. 

So here’s to logistics and we moms who manage them. Cheers!

 

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June 6, 2008. Uncategorized.

2 Comments

  1. Vicki replied:

    I marvel at your ability to juggle it all. You are doing a GREAT job. Your kids are well-adjusted and happy.
    Wish I had your energy level!!!

    Love you,
    Vicki

  2. Seth replied:

    Regarding getting emotional at the end of Kingergarten … had a similar moment last week on the last day of our kids’ first year of nursery school.

    Made me wonder whether an ending/transition brings up a conditioned response informed, in part, by all of the other “endings” one has experienced in life…graduations, last day of camp, changing jobs, etc. So it’s in part nostalgia at what’s actually going on…and in part an automatic hearkening back to similar moments in the past. ??

    SB

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