The Next Chapter

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My oldest starts kindergarten on Tuesday.

I wish I could say I am totally calm and zen about it, but I am most certainly not! I have been a somewhat stressed (but trying really hard not to be stressed) mixture of both anxious and excited nerves.

It has also been a nostalgic time for me realizing the first chapter of her life is coming to an end and a new one is beginning.

Not just for her but for us as parents as well.

And it’s sort of a big change. For a Type A sort of planner like me, change is a challenge and I feel like I am losing a bit of control.  Then the “Mama Bear” in me comes out and just wants to protect her!

But I have realized I cannot control what friends are or are not in her class, if she will like her teacher, if she will be able to reach the monkey bars at recess, if she will find friends to sit with at lunch, if she will wash her hands before snack, and on and on and on…but I have to know that she will be OK.

My cousin who has older kids and has been a mommy mentor to me in so many ways had a really beautiful quote.

Her advice was to go into the year with an “open heart” trusting in the fact that she will end up with the teacher she is supposed to have and things will work out the way they are supposed to and that everything will be OK.

I love the open heart reminder.

So with an open heart and also some nervous butterflies, I will go with her on Friday for orientation to meet her teacher and then on Tuesday to take her for the first day.

Wish me luck.

To the mamas that have been there before, I would love your advice!

As always, thanks for reading. xoxo


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  1. 1
    Merri Ann says:

    Ugh … me, too.

    We moved from Texas last year and the school age requirements are different. This year was supposed to be my oldest starting Kindergarten and my twins in pre-K … instead I’m getting whammied … my oldest will be going right to 1st grade and my twins will be in Kindergarten.

    My open heart will be aching with the knowledge that it really does go by sooo fast …

    Good luck on your first day :))

    • 2
      Jen says:

      Oh, Merri Ann, not just one, but THREE! They will all do great, again, deep breaths and a little faith and know all is going to be OK!

      I just hope I can wait until I am in the car before I shed any tears, because at the root of it all, is exactly what you just said.

      It all goes just too fast!

      Good luck, update me on how it went. Do you start next week too??

  2. 3
    melanie says:

    I feel the same way! Its such an exciting but sad (only for me) time. My daughter is super excited for Kindergarten!

    • 4
      Jen says:

      That’s the funniest part – that it is ME having the issues and I know she will be totally fine and love it!! Good luck to you too!!! Glad to know I am going through this with others in the same boat! xo

  3. 5
    misha nesselrod says:

    I’m a wreck! My daughter starts at the most wonderful elementary school tomorrow. I’ve been so excited for this next chapter of her life, but I didn’t anticipate being soooooo sad to say goodbye to her preschool. I told my husband that we needed to have another baby just so we can still be a part of that preschool! I’m losing it!!!

    • 6
      Jen says:

      Oh Misha, I am right there with you! Our elementary school is wonderful too, it’s just that I loved her preschool so much as well. And I think that part of her “preschool life” and the little years. It is definitely a different chapter. One I know we will all adjust to, but it is sort of sad and nostalgic. Thinking of you sister, good luck tomorrow!!!!!!!

  4. 7
    Sarah says:

    Awww mama, it’s going to be ok! I remember feeling that way with my first heading to school. Expect the day to just drag on and on. After some time, you will adjust and the time will fly by. The first day you are zooming to pickup just seconds before she’s at the gate you will realize that all of you have adjusted and grown into this new chapter.

    • 8
      Jen says:

      Thanks for the advice mama!!

  5. 9
    jolie says:

    Oh Jen – poignant and poetic as usual. What makes me feel better? My parents say the scariest feeling they ever had was driving away the day they dropped me off at UCSB. And look who I met, all by myself. If we don’t set ’em free, they can’t go find their Jens & Pams. And isn’t that everything I’ve ever wanted for them? Is for me.

    • 10
      Jen says:

      I LOVE this reminder – thanks friend…xoxox

  6. 11
    elle says:

    i don’t know if you believe in God, but if you do, just pray! my oldest is now in 2d, second started K this morning … and my 3d starts PS tomorrow … the easiest way for me to deal w/all the emotions is to let go and let God! =)

    • 12
      Jen says:

      Yes I believe in God and I don’t know about you but since becoming a parent I think I have prayed more than I ever have in my entire life!! I need all the help I can get! 🙂 So yes, love the let go and let God reminder. Good luck to you in your transition into your new school year. And thank you for being a reader! xoxo

  7. 13
    Cindy S. says:

    I have children in 7th, 5th and 2nd…so I have been in your current “spot” 3x. It is always hard saying goodbye to the sweet preschool years and the “control” you THINK you have! That never changes. But you will love the next chapter. Your daughter will make so many new friends and so will you! Some of the friends you make now will likely become a big part of your life.

    Hopefully your school offers parents the opportunity to help in the classroom. That is a wonderful experience – for you AND your child. If you can – park and walk your child in and out of school every day. Don’t just do the drive – thru.”Waiting at the gate” offered a great opportunity to chat with the other kids and parents. Many friendships start right there! I guarantee, in a few days (maybe less) you’ll be so excited with all the new possibilities…you won’t give a minute’s thought to what was….but was IS and WILL be!

    • 14
      Jen says:

      What great advice!!! Thank you so much!

  8. 15
    Heather says:

    My oldest started K last year and at the start, I felt exactly the same way. The year, his teacher, and his friends all wildly surpassed my expectations! He had so much fun…and grew so much. Of course now I’m concerned about first grade starting next week and his being “away from home all day” but I have so much more confidence that relaxing and enjoying the process helps savor the moments. All best wishes for celebratory beginnings!

  9. 16
    Heather Thome says:

    My oldest started Kindergarten yesterday too. I had no problem with preschool, but Kindergarten is such a milestone. Your feelings are quite normal and necessary! We have a huge responsibility with these little ones, it’s hard to hand over the reigns, even if just for a day. I’m better today (2nd day) and realize it’s new chapter for both of us. She didn’t get the teacher I wanted her to have, but through much prayer she did get the teacher she was supposed to have. A friend told me, and it’s my favorite quote, “with kids, the days are long, but the years are short.” Enjoy it all and hang in there!

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