almost but not quite yet kindergarten

Every so often, I make a promise to myself to write more. I don't feel quite like myself in times when I don't write, but it gets complicated. Sometimes it's weird knowing my words are read by people I actually have to see in every day life (and when they don't like what I say, I get the awkward grocery store cold shoulder) -- or by people whose children my kids have a desire to play with. As Ethan gets older, I have to protect his privacy more than in the good old days of his tot schooling and potty training when his milestones were cute and universally understood by new parents everywhere. He is my number one support system when it comes to writing ("you should write books about Carmen and I, mommy") but he's also six. Still, writing gives me this feeling of peace that is unattainable anywhere else. I joined a boot camp, I've been slowly committing to decorating rooms in my house and staying on top of my laundry, but nothing compares to putting words and feelings down. There are just so many big feelings here, dying to come out.

Summer is basically over. I'm taking this extra hard because Ethan starts Kindergarten soon and I'm pretty lousy at changes in routine. I bought Carmen a shirt that says "say yes to new adventures" and cursed myself out under my breath as I tossed it in the cart because hello, I'm a hypocrite. New adventures are terrifying and scary and should be avoided at all costs by embracing sameness and hiding under the covers to avoid reality. Just me? Ethan is pretty stoked about Kindergarten and doesn't really seem nervous whereas I wake up at three in the morning having panic attacks about having to send my precious baby to a gigantic, actual elementary school. There are things that I don't like to admit to myself, and one of those is that unlike me, Ethan loves the idea of a class and being a part of a team. He's also pretty good about giving things an honest try, which is a quality I severely lack. So far his only apprehension has been that PE is a part of the curriculum (see? He is my child!) but he's even accepted that he may enjoy it after all.

Today, I cleaned out the drawers in a filing cabinet that has been stuck in a corner of our tot school classroom since we began, when Ethan was just 16 months old. I spent an hour bawling my eyes out as I combed through the artwork and projects that we had spent five years making. Ethan loved sitting with me and going through his old drawings and projects but "I'm not sure what you're crying about, mommy. I'll still make art at Kindergarten and when I get home, too." I try to explain to him the depths of a mother's love and pride and the bittersweet feeling that is a child growing up and becoming more independent, but he's six and so he doesn't understand. He hugs me and assures me that if I want to make him lessons and trays, he will humor me and do them so I don't have to cry.

I'm a little bit of a mess. That's nothing new. Time hasn't really made me bolder but regardless, children get older and I'm doing my best to put on a brave face and be convincing in my cheering from the sidelines.

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