A Love Letter to Kindergarten

A Love Letter to Kindergarten

For Dylan

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Today you sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,”
smiling proudly in your red baseball cap and striped socks.
Held my hand as we walked
through the hallway to your classroom.
After, I hugged you goodbye
amid the excitement of parents and children
rushing to work, apologizing that Mama couldn’t stay longer.

Tonight, we watch the Kindergarten slide show your teacher made
you standing in your Superhero pajamas next to me
hair still wet from the shower
I bury my nose in the sweet, fresh smell of it.
Getting to know you, getting to feel free and easy....”
We sing along during the song from the King and I
as you excitedly point out yourself and each of your friends in the pictures.

You wearing a cowboy bandanna & straw hat
eating a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree
taking field trips to the Pumpkin Patch, the Strawberry Farm
smiling as Jake the Pirate on Dress-Up Day
your painted Indian face for the Thanksgiving feast.
And there we were together, you and Mama
making Christmas ornaments, decorating gingerbread houses
playing pin the tail on the reindeer, donning our beads together
at the Mardi Gras parade, running together at Relay Recess
you, laughing with your buddy, eating a red snowball after.

Then, the melodies of Over the Rainbow and  Let them be Little play
my tears begin to flow, dropping down my cheeks like rain
as I think of this – the last Kindergarten moment.
You happily doodling on sheets of paper in front of me, singing to yourself
writing your numbers and the names of your classmates.

I hug you tighter.

At bedtime, linger longer
singing all of the verses to My Favorite Things
instead of just one or two.

Hug you closer
give you an extra sip of water.
Knowing this will be the last time you”ll be a Kindergartener
and my last time as a Kindergarten Mama.
Maybe the last time your 6 year old eyes will look up at me
asking for one more kiss, one more song, one more story
one more hug from Mama.

Knowing I can’t hold on to or stop time
only savor it, memorizing
your cheek, your skin, your face, your smile, your laugh
the way your fingers fit into mine, the way you curl into my lap
how you still need Pooh bear to sleep.

Next year there’ll be more homework, bigger ideas
bigger kids, bigger adventures, bigger challenges — bigger fish to fry.

I hope you also have bigger dreams
and bigger love, always love…

Always…Mama.

Copyright May 13 2016 Stacie Eirich 

4 thoughts on “A Love Letter to Kindergarten”

  1. Love this, Stacie. They don't stay young for very long so it is good to enjoy them while they let you know that they enjoy you enjoying them. They will almost always enjoy being enjoyed, just that it won't be cool to let you know.
    Mrs. Jim grew up in Alexandria and left home for her last two years at LSU in Baton Rouge. She went on to get an MSW. We were there this spring with the First Grader, granddaughter, to see Mike the Tiger. We now live in Katy, Texas. We also are old.
    ..

  2. This touched my heart to tears, Stacie, as I remember having those same thoughts when my last one was little…….how quickly they start walking – and running – ahead on the path, like a hurry-up train. It is wonderful that these days teachers can give kids dvd's of their school year – which will be PRICELESS when your little guy is in his 30's, and you are older and looking back. I know the very few home movies i have are treasures to me now.

  3. This is both so bittersweet… growing is part pain and part joy.. I think deep inside he feels it too… The smell of child is so special… Really a lovely poem

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