Wednesday, August 21, 2013

To Kindergarten Moms . . . and then some

I see you, Mama.

I know you.

I’ve been you.

Today, as you send your kindergartner out the door, maybe for the very first time, emotions are running high.

You’re worried.

You’re excited.

You’re scared.

And so much more.

Most of all, you wonder if you’ve done enough. You wonder if you’ve prepared him to sit still that long (he will). You wonder if she knows her letters (she doesn’t have to). You wonder if you’ve emphasized kindness or courage or faith enough.

And you wonder, somewhere deep down, if you’ve been enough.

I cried that morning when I sent my first baby to kindergarten in her little blue dress and pink tennis shoes and a headband barely attempting to tame those unruly cowlicks. She stood in line behind a huge, cut-out teddy bear on a stick that bore the name of her teacher, Mrs. Nagle, with kids she would later know throughout her high school years.

Her nametag, also in the shape of a teddy bear, said, “Katie W.” Crumpled within five minutes, of course.

I felt slightly helpless as I watched her march into her classroom, all smiles, all “I’ve got this, Mom.”

I was surprised by my tears. Wasn’t I supposed to be happy? This is what I had been looking forward to all summer. Two and a half glorious hours without being peppered with questions or of being asked to read or of breaking up fights with sisters.

Still, I cried.

The other two were slightly easier, but only slightly. Because every time I send a child off to school I wonder, have I been enough?

Have I spent the time I should spend with her? Have I encouraged her in her faith? Have I been the mom she has needed me to be?

Have I . . ?

Here’s what I want you to know, sweet mama. You have.

You have been enough. You ARE enough. You are exactly the mom your kindergartener needs for right now, today, forever.

My own mom spent many years grieving—truly grieving—to the point that being a mom was hard. Today I’m sure she has the same questions we all do: have I been enough? And yet, I can honestly say that I never once, ever, have looked back on my childhood and wished my mom had been more.

She was there. And she was mine.

Dear mama, know this. Believe it. Trust it. You are exactly who your child needs.

Right now.




  1. Your words are a blessing to read. Thanks for sharing with us newbies:)

  2. Abby! I didn't know you were sending one, too! How fun!

  3. Hadn't cried until I read this. Thank you. You always speak truth gushing with love and encouragement!

  4. That is such a great reminder. No matter what age our kids (mine are 20 and 17, one a senior in college, one a senior in high school), but so many times I have questioned whether I have been the mom they needed me to be. Have I done enough. And in my heart I know the answer is yes. I'm not perfect. There are things I would do differently. But I did the best I could, and I think they would agree. Thanks for your beautiful words!! Blessings to you!!

  5. What does it mean if I don't believe you? Am I a lost cause? :) I know she knows enough numbers, letters, colors and shapes. I know she can sit still and follow the rules (although, Lord help me, all her "naughty" has to come out when she's at home now!). What I don't know is if she'll be safe, if she'll be kind. I guess I'll just say this: I'm glad I'm only sending her to kindergarten. I still have a few years left with her, right? AND IT WON'T FLY BY...RIGHT? :)

  6. There is something so sweet about a darling kindergarten kid heading off to school and I think it is sweet that us moms cry.

    I cry even when I see someone else's wee kid head off to school. :)

    Good words here, Shelly.