Ian finished kindergarten today. While I was well aware that the start of kindergarten was an emotional thing for many parents, no one ever mentioned that the end could be, well, also “strange.”
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think it’s something about experiencing for the first time how quickly the school year passes. One day you are buying supplies for their new classroom and a fast 9.5 months later, they are celebrating the beginning of their summer vacation and looking forward to the next grade. And so it goes. Suddenly, something you thought was so far away you couldn’t even begin to imagine it, is imaginable: graduating from high school and leaving the nest. Or not, as the case may be.
I know, I know. Perhaps I shouldn’t get too ahead of myself…he did just finish kindergarten, after all, so clearly we’ve got a while to go yet. Still – I suspect that other parents who have been through this know what I’m talking about. Ultimately, I’m taking it as a friendly reminder to appreciate this time we have watching our kids grow up because it will be over before we know it.
Ms. Davies gives Ian his kindy diploma, spins him around, taps him with her magic wand and deems him “now a first grader”!
Posing nicely for Mom with his diploma and kindergarten memory rock from Ms. Davies.
Kindergartener no more.
For some crazy reason, Mother Nature decided to bless us with not one, but two beautiful days this weekend where it actually pretended to be spring for real: sunshine, blue skies, flowers coming into full bloom. In fact, it was three days – including today – but given that I spent my day inside, I only really count Saturday and Sunday.
And just to show how deprived we are, it was the talk of our office this morning. And, I’d bet money on the fact that it was the talk of almost every other office in Portland this morning. Across town, conversations went something like this:
How was your weekend? It was wonderful! How could it not have been with that weather??
I know, I know. I spent all weekend outside doing XX…
Even better, if we were to be granted two days in a row of sunny, “warm” weather (low to mid-60s), I was delighted that it happened the weekend of Ian’s first t-ball game on Saturday morning and Easter on Sunday.
A few months ago my friend at work who is a former stay-at-home-mom (and in the process of becoming a single mom) asked me if I ever felt guilty about the time I spend at work away from my kids. It took me approximately .53 seconds to answer, “No.”
Having been through the stay-at-home mom (SAHM) routine longer than I originally intended made me 185% certain that I am not SAHM material. I refuse to feel guilty about saying that I don’t want to spend 24/7 with my children. I need another outlet. Some don’t. I do. It makes me a better mother. That, I know. To each their own.
It helps that I have a job that fulfills me, and that both of my children are in places that both Jeff and I feel at peace with in terms of knowing that it fulfills their needs. One day not too long ago I left work a little early and picked Ian up from after-school care. His greeting: “Mommy, why are you here early today? I didn’t get to finish playing…” And while Elena often greets us very enthusiastically, we don’t leave the building before she proactively hugs every teacher in sight who bid her farewell by name. She’s happy, and that makes us happy. However, had my friend asked me that same question earlier this evening, for the first time since I’ve been back to work, I may have hesitated with my answer.
A Portland couple recently received national – even international – attention over a landmark court case involving their young daughter. The 4-year-old girl, their third child, has Down syndrome, which was unknown to them during the pregnancy. After their daughter was born, they sued their health providers for allegedly assuring them that they would have a normal, healthy child following genetic test results (a CVS), despite the fact that two later ultrasounds apparently raised red flags for Down syndrome. Apparently they were also told that there was no need for them to get an amniocentesis for further testing.
A week and a half ago, a jury unanimously awarded the parents $2.9 million against the local health system to pay for the extra lifetime costs of caring for their daughter, admitting that had they known they would have a child with Down syndrome, they would have aborted the pregnancy.
[Note: I’ve decided to forfeit Flashback Friday for a Current Friday post this week. Why? Well, why not? So, let’s get started.]
The whole time our house was on the market Ian showed nothing but excitement over the prospect of moving to a new house. Recently, after dragging he and Elena around to Sunday open houses had become a bit of the norm, we even found a way to keep him engaged that he seemed to really like: We’d have him rate each house on a scale of 1 to 10. Oddly enough, each house either seemed to be a 1 or a 10. A man of extremes, I suppose. Anyway, the point is that he’s been really on board with this whole moving thing. Of course, that was before September 7. (Also known as the first day of kindergarten.)
Today I picked up Ian from school and when we got home, it was just he and I as Jeff and Elena were not home yet. He was sitting on the stairs having me help him untie his double-knotted shoes when I said, “Ian, you know that as of today this house is no longer our house.” He looked at me. “What??” “Well, Doug and Sara own our house now and we are paying them to let us live here for a while. It’s like we are just borrowing it from them.” This look of grave concern crossed his face. “Oh. Well, do we have a new place to live yet?” “No, not yet but we will.”