This morning as I dropped off Johannes for his last day of kindergarten he looked at me and said that he was sad, and I was too. I have had this lump in my throat for several weeks now, getting bigger and more painful with each day that passed. I know that my kids’ milestones are hard, but I didn’t know they were THIS hard.
I have three boys, and as each one hits a new beginning in their short little lives, a part of is proud but the other part of me, the mom-heart part is weepy and sad.
So I dropped off Johannes at school quickly, I got in my car with Magnus and Henrik, swallowed the giant lump that prevented me from eating breakfast today and I opened my phone to quickly check my emails before driving away. And there it was, the last blog post from Johannes’ amazing kindergarten teacher, sharing her own sadness with all of us parents. And then the tears came.
There are so many emotions to share. Johannes is no longer a baby, he’s been changing constantly since the day I had him, but now he is going into Grade 1 which feels so much more legitimate as “school” than Montessori and Kindergarten felt. Grade 1. He’s tall and lanky with knoby knees and gaps in his teeth. He can read, write, add, subtract and even do a little multiplying. He takes care of his brothers and argues with me about everything. And he’s also thoughtful and kind. Just yesterday I watched him run up to his teacher who’s hands were full of school supplies, and hold her door open to help her through. I am so proud of him, but I so miss the little Johannes that used to cry because he didn’t want me to leave him at school. The one who would cover his ears when something scared him. I miss that little boy. And yes every stage has its magic, and I’m sure I’ll love next year too and there are still a lot of years left until he’s a grown man. But the stage we’ve now passed was a bloody good one.
I will also miss his teacher, the one who helped him grow and develop this year. Her and I didn’t start off on the right foot, we didn’t see eye to eye on everything but she cares so much for the kids, and Johannes really couldn’t have had a better role model in the classroom. She kept us parents included all along the way, and cared enough about her students to call home and raise concerns with their behaviour whenever she saw something amiss. And that’s invaluable to me. If I could bottle her up and take her with us all through Johannes’ school journey I would.
And lastly I think I will miss the routine and the fact that as a working mom I missed so much of it these last two years. I didn’t get to chaperone all of Johannes’ trips, or volunteer in his class for every event. I didn’t get to go to all the Parent Council meetings or drop him off in the school yard. Now that stage is over and I missed it, or at least a large part of it. And no matter how much I am involved moving forward in his classes and trips and homework, it won’t bring back the little Johannes and his special moments.
So today I am sad. Really really really sad.