Sunday, August 9, 2015

Kindergarten Wishes

Liam heads to kindergarten tomorrow. No more preschool. Nope, this is school-school. He's as ready as he could ever be, raring to read, write, tackle German, figure out how this formal education thing works, find his way around a new building and new relationships.

I've watched him go from Yo-Gabba-Gabba to Ninjago and anything having to do with Star Wars. He's progressed from eating crayons to being a darn good little artist (especially for space aliens). He knows his letters and numbers and can write his full name. He loves science and experimenting with anything messy that turns out cool. He's a wiz with Lego, often singing one of the songs he learned in choir last year as he works. He can throw and catch a ball, or pine cone, or whatever's being used in a pick-up game.

Yes, he's ready. And as much as it pains me to admit, I'm ready to watch him take off. As he heads to new teachers, new classmates, and new challengers, I have a few GrandMary wishes for him:
  • I wish for him one or two lifelong friends. I'm lucky to still have friends I first got to know in kindergarten and first grade. Friends help you be your best real self, and you help them the same way. So I hope Liam finds a couple of soulmates early on to teach him how to be a good friend.
  • I wish for him curiosity and enthusiasm for learning new things, even things that might be hard for him. May he have the courage to ask questions and the energy and determination to keep working on something until he's figured it out.
  • I wish for him skilled, understanding teachers who love watching the magic of learning blossom in little kids. May those teachers spark an interest or talent that Liam doesn't know he has. He's a smart, quick, funny little boy. I hope his teachers channel his gifts in a way that will serve him throughout his life. 
  • I wish him to know that respect for teachers and friends will usually return to him. Really listen. Reach out to help or reach out for help if needed. Speak the truth and hear the truth that others try to speak. Be kind and helpful. Take a little breather if he feels frustrated or hurt. In short, earn respect by giving respect.
  • I wish for him to enjoy being a 5-year-old. This isn't university. Learning isn't just an assignment on a board or practice pages in a workbook. All of that will come in time. Play, sing, color, run around (when appropriate), find the rhythm band instrument that speaks to you. Play. Play. Play. Be 5 years old. 
I wish him luck with cafeteria lunches, standardized tests, withstanding the smell of the boys' bathroom, and figuring out hallway chaos. If it all proves too much, I hope he remembers how much he is loved and supported by his family, and that remembering the love will help him punch through any kindergarten challenge.

So, off you go, my darling boy. It's time to fly!

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