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My oldest baby starts kindergarten tomorrow.
At some times we’ve been sure it would never come, and at others feared the same. Libbie’s been ready – at least in her mind – to go to kindergarten since she was about 2. She would ask, “When can I go to eleventure school?” She had to be 5 AND it had to be August, we told her, feeling like it was miles and miles away down the road.
And now we’re at that crossroads.
I fold her clothes tonight and wonder if she will still want to wear Elsa and Anna shirts. Will she still be obsessed with pink and love jeggings? Or will she be brainwashed into Justice and want to wear high heels? How will her thoughts and ways change, influenced by other little girls and boys and teachers for so many hours a week?
If you know me or have read this blog basically at all, you know that my relationship with Libbie can be difficult. She is strong-willed to the core, fighting any instructions and reframing them to make them her idea. If she ever just said “yes” to something I told her to do I might pass out from surprise. She still has tantrums that put a 2-year-old to shame.
But then she is sugar-sweet and cuddly and loves to read, always has. She adores making art, singing, and dancing. She loves her brothers, sometimes a little too hard. She is often in her own little imaginary world, talking and singing to herself, not unlike another little girl I once knew, 27 or so years ago.
She is tender-hearted and very sensitive, probably an HSP. She frightens easily, hates cats and most dogs, and is sometimes shy.
I afraid she will change. Without me knowing it. She’s never gone to school, been away from me, more than 15 hours a week since we moved to Chattanooga when she was 14 months. What will it be like? She is ready. I am ready. But we’re both teetering on the edge, unsure how to proceed.
All I can do is pray that we have and will continue to raise her to find her strength in Jesus, knowing that we love and support her in all she does. I pray now, as I did when she was only 6 months old, that she will know the breadth and depth and height and width of God’s love and be filled with His fullness.
I love this girl and I’m afraid I’ve messed everything up being too strict, not firm enough, too depressed, too crazy, too … something. Will she feel firmly her place in our family, in our love, and strive? Will she struggle to make friends, not to withdraw, to have confidence, like that other little girl I once knew?
I know it will be happy, and it will be good. And in every happy moment of growth, we feel grief in the growing. I am delighted. I am scared. I am grieving my preschooler.
We love you, Libbie. Go rock out at kindergarten. Be yourself and be His.