Kindergarten Lessons – Open Heart Story
Story By Cynthia Lee De Boer
Tia waved with excitement as I quickly snapped a picture to capture this moment in time. It was her first day of Kindergarten and another step to her independence. She was ready for today; in fact she could hardly wait. Last night Tia chose her outfit from a pile of new school clothes. She was wearing a crisp white blouse, ruffled denim skirt and brown cowgirl boots. Tia’s wavy long golden hair was pulled away from her face revealing blue sparkling eyes and a beautiful smile. A school bag packed with supplies hung neatly over her shoulder. Everything was in place and she was confident. I watched as her teacher greeted her and she entered the classroom. I waited and watched until the last child went inside and the door closed.
The sound of the door latch clicking shut unleashed an uncontrollable flood of tears, washing me back and forth from a prideful joy to an intense sorrow. Tia was now under Mrs. Frank’s supervision and even though I liked her, it just didn’t seem right. I was letting a virtual stranger take over my daughter’s care. From the moment Tia was born, it was my job to make sure she was safe, happy and secure in the knowledge that she was loved. I taught Tia all the basics needed to begin school including right from wrong and now a teacher was taking over.
As a parent, I knew my job was to prepare my child to care for her self and to eventually care for the next generation. Today, that knowledge was drowned by my emotions. I was happy, sad, proud, scared and ashamed all at the same time. Soon, she won’t need my care. Soon, she won’t need me! Then, I realize I need her too. She gives me a purpose, a reason for being. Oh, where did the time go? I am not ready for this.
I turn and head for my car. Is anyone watching me? Am I the only one who feels this way? I wipe my tears away as inconspicuously as possible. Good heavens, could I have parked any further out? Finally, I reach the car. Perfect, I dropped my keys. I pick them up and clumsily unlock and open the door throwing my purse onto the seat. Out flies my camera releasing the vision of my little girl beaming with excitement. I stop dead in my tracks. She was so happy, my little girl. I can’t help but smile.
There are no ordinary moments in this fleeting life, for each precious one can never be replaced. My daughter’s joy was the most important thing and I could hardly wait to see what else life has in store for her and for us. Wow, I would have never guessed that the first day of Kindergarten held so many lessons for ME!
Author’s Note: The A B C’s photo was designed especially for this story. Original story date: July 2009. This true ‘Parenting Moment’ happened to me. Childhood is short—cherish every moment