Here was the dilemma, Sonya is only 4 and won't be 5 until November. However, the age cutoff for kids to start school here in Burbank is December 1st, so she was eligible for Kindergarten this year. Some people choose to hold their kids back when they're that close to the cutoff. Andy and I debated about it for a few months, weighing the pros and cons. She was either going to be one of the oldest in her class, if we waited, or one of the youngest if we didn't. Sonya has always been very smart. I know all parents say that about their kids, but she really is. She was talking early and knew all her letters, colors, and numbers by the time she was 18 months old. I know this is early, because Lana is almost 2 1/2 and is JUST getting her colors now. Who knows when the letters and numbers will come for her.
Sonya has started reading in the past year too, so academically we knew she would be fine in Kindergarten. I wasn't so sure about socially or emotionally until after we talked to her preschool teachers. They assured us she was ready. We were hesitant at first, because last year she cried when we dropped her off at Pre-School, for two months, EVERY time. Eventually, she got past it, and loved going to school.
I wasn't sure how she would react going to a new, much bigger school. I'll be honest, I expected major tears when we dropped her off this morning, but nope. We took all kind of pictures of her going into the school and in her class. When I hugged her and said goodbye to her, I had to blink back my own tears. "Goodbye" sorta got caught in my throat as I tried not to cry. I didn't want to do that in front of her, knowing that it would set her off. I saved my crying for after we walked out of the school. Andy, always less emotional (at least outwardly) about these things, tried to cheer me up by joking, of course. He said by the time we get to Georgia, we'll just drop her off on the sidewalk and tell her to go around the corner and find her teacher. I did laugh through my tears at that thought. Don't worry all you youngest kids out there, I wouldn't do that!
I picked her up later in the morning, because Kindergarten is only half day here. She was excited to see me, but not clingy. I asked if she cried after we left and she said she didn't. Then on our walk home she told me how much she loved it and couldn't wait to go back. I told her that was a good thing because she'll be going back tomorrow, and the next day, and the one after that for many, many years.
I can't believe it's been almost 5 years since I had her. Since I became a mom. I remember so clearly and how tiny she was and how screamy. Oh my God, the screaming. THAT is one thing I do NOT miss. I think I've mentioned before how she was not the easiest infant. Even though I really wanted to have kids, I had NO idea what to expect and did not get what I expected. But, here we are, sending her off to Kindergarten. She's made it this far, so I guess we're doing an okay job. Sometimes I look at Georgia and can't believe Sonya was ever that little. I suppose this is where I should break into a rendition of, "Cats in the Cradle", or perhaps "Sunrise, Sunset", but I won't do that to you. I will just continue to do my best to raise my girls and grab as much quality time and funny from stories from them as I can. Before I know it I'll be sitting in a high school auditorium listening to "Pomp and Circumstance".
As we finished our walk home from her school this morning, I told Sonya how proud I was that she didn't cry at all. Then I said to her,
"Can I tell you a secret?"
"What?" She asked.
"Mommy cried after we dropped you off," I told her.
"You did?" She asked surprised. "Why?"
"Because I'm a little sad that you're such a big girl in Kindergarten and not a baby anymore." I explained to her.
Then she said, very mater of fact, "but I'm still 4, I'm not even 5 yet."
I guess she's right. I guess I can wait until she turns 5 to be really sad.