One year. I remember being a kid and thinking it was SUCH a long time to wait for another birthday party. Over time, the years seemed to get shorter, especially when I wanted them to last forever.
As a teacher, years take on a new meaning. I have a co-worker who is retiring after over 40 years of teaching – spent mostly at first grade. Imagine. Forty years of first grade.
Assuming I’m not changing grade levels (which I don’t recommend…you know what happens when you assume), I may experience fifth grade four times in a row. It becomes comfortable. I know the curriculum. I know the projects. I know the expectations. Sometimes, it is easy to forget that students will – hopefully! – only experience this grade once.
So, what brings this on? Well, tomorrow is E’s last day of kindergarten. He has had a wonderful year and is ready for first grade. 100% ready.
Can we do kindergarten again?
It’s funny. Until he was about 5, I was all about hitting the milestones. Maybe it was because he had some motor delays and I was thrilled to see him walk and run and climb. Maybe it was because, as a teacher, I was SO darn excited to see him start preschool. Maybe it is because I saw so many fun times ahead as a “big kid.” But now? Now, he IS a big kid. Big enough to do so many things and little enough to find EXTREME joy in all of them. Can’t he please just stay this way? Forever?
I’m not sure a year was long enough for kindergarten. I’m not sure I’m ready to see him grow up more. He will be 7 in October. Seven? It sounds so much older than six.
It sounds like more friends, less exhuberance, more scheduled activities, less cuddling (who am I kidding…I barely get that now!). But, I know this is how it works. He is going to grow up into an amazing young man. I can already tell. And I don’t think that twinkle in his eye or his joy or his kindness or his gigantic smile will ever go away completely.
And, maybe, just maybe, I will find that these years are so full of joy that I can carry them with me for a lifetime.