Lessons from Kindergarten


Our oldest went to kindergarten last year.

I swear, it was just yesterday I was holding him in my arms terrified I didn’t know what I was doing with this tiny infant.

And here we were. A big yellow bus lumbering down our street to pick him up and whisk him away to kindergarten. The only person he knew was our sweet neighbor girl waving at him from the bus window. He was off to a classroom where he knew one other kid. One.

I wasn’t there. Dad wasn’t there. His brother wasn’t there. His grandparents weren’t there. His daycare provider wasn’t there. NO ONE WAS THERE. How was this kindergarten thing going to work?

He came home. He got on the bus the next day. And the next. And the next.

Pretty soon? Stories came home about his friends. Pride came home showing us how much better he could write his name. Confidence and life lessons came home. A growing kid figuring out life on his own just a little bit came home.

It turns out, we were all there with him all along. The little voices in his head helping him navigate the day were coming from everything we had taught and continue to teach him.

One day, he was frustrated because a friend was faster than him at Mileage Club. We talked about how his friend works hard to be fast. We helped our son figure out what he wanted, how to get there and by the end, he had earned the t-shirt he wanted—and had a great time running with his friends.

A million little lessons like that happened during the year. We used them to teach our son how to work hard, that life doesn’t just hand stuff to you, that there will be good days and there will be bad days.

Looking ahead to all of the milestones, I will always think he is too little for everything. On his graduation day? I’ll cry like a baby wanting to bottle him back up to that tiny baby and just hold him.

But, that isn’t how life works. Life gives you memories that become part of your story.

My job as a mom isn’t to keep him little for my sake. My job is to help him build really strong wings and be there when they don’t work, helping him figure out how to fix them.

I need to give him the tools to make good decisions and teach him when he doesn’t.

In kindergarten, you’ll see your hard work pay off. You will learn how your kid puts life into action on their own. You will visit him at lunch and thank his teacher 100 times for being amazing with 20 five-year-olds. You will meet new people. You will be faced with new decisions, challenges, and parenting moments.

You will find out that, though he isn’t with you every moment, he needs you now more than ever. You’ll be happy when he has a great day and feel every bit of sadness when he has a bad one. You will remember what your parents taught you and use it to teach him.

You will find your way as a kindergarten mom. 

Grab the tissues, make the cute kindergarten sign and hold it together long enough for the bus to pull away (we managed to keep it together until he left).

Life truly is a fabric woven with moments, lessons, and people. His fabric will grow and become so colorful over the next year. And guess what? So will yours.


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