Last summer I rambled on and on to anyone who would listen about my fears and worries associated with sending Shortcake into the world of kindergarten. I know there were at least two occasions where I allowed myself to dive into a case of the Ugly Cry prior to the start of school, and I held back violent tears the entire morning before dropping her off for the very first time. At some point of the day every single day of the past school year I found myself worrying about her - what she was doing, if she was having fun, if her classmates were treating her kindly, if she liked her lunch that day, how many times she had tried to find a valid reason to visit the nurse's office.
Then, in the blink of an eye, I walked with her hand-in-hand again as she led me into her school on her last day of kindergarten.
I was concerned that sending her to school would change who she had become, somehow altering our little girl in such a way that I wouldn't recognize her as the child I dropped off at the doors of the Early Childhood Center on that first day. People told me I was crazy, but I was right. She has changed so much since August. I sent her to school knowing she knew most of her letter names and sounds. Now she can read, quite proficiently for a five year old if you ask me. My first born has always been a bit timid; one year of school has made her noticeably more confident. Her peer group has expanded ten fold, and she'll proudly announce that she has two "BFFs". These are the just the most obvious changes that have transformed Shortcake in nine short months. She is at the same time exactly the same person she was one year ago yet also a completely different version of herself.
The General asked me the other day, "Is every year going to go this fast?". My head answered "Yes, only faster" while my heart screamed, "Please, God, no!". The thought of the remaining years of school going as fast as this one makes my stomach (and heart) ache. The consolation to this though is Shortcake's enthusiasm for the next step. Shortcake has spent the past 24-plus hours announcing to anyone and everyone, "I'm a first grader now". She is so proud of herself, her pride outdone only by that of her parents.
Way to go, Shortcake. Here's to twelve more years as wonderful as this one.