As you may have already been aware; PJ started Kindergarten this year. This was the first “official” school age milestone for him and was a BIG deal for PJ. I have been wanting to write this post for a couple weeks, but have had trouble finding the words to describe this life event. I’ve become a very emotional and sappy man since the birth of my son. Him starting Kindergarten has caused many emotions in me that I can’t even explain. I’ve been sad that he is growing up before my eyes and I feel like I have limited time with him. I honestly feel like it was just last week that I was sitting on his floor in the middle of the night holding him while he fell back asleep. I remember doing the tiptoe dance out of his room after placing him back in his crib sleeping soundly. Those moments, the ones that caused such sleep deprivation, are the moments that I will always cherish and would do all over again in a heartbeat. You never think you will miss those moments in time until you no longer have them.
PJ has been in daycare and preschool for 5 years in preparation for Kindergarten. At his most recent preschool he had spent a lot of time with the kids referred to as the “school agers,” and I could tell he looked up to them. There were some very sweet moments with the school agers that made one’s heart melt. One such moment involved one of the older girls who would sit with PJ and read books to him while they waited for parents to pick up. He always seemed so happy sitting with her, admiring her ability to tell a tale, and listening to her read. Now that PJ is a school ager himself, I can’t help but think that will be him someday reading to another friend who can’t yet read for themselves. Whether or not I was ready; PJ was definitely ready for kindergarten.
The first day of kindergarten came and went in a flash, leaving only photos behind to remember it by. One moment I was standing with him in the parking lot before school and the next moment he was explaining how he couldn’t remember what he did at school. Some things never change little buddy.
Two weeks into the school year was “Back to School” night at his school. This was the evening set aside for parents to come to the school and attend a presentation by the principal and then be guided around the school by our kids. PJ was super excited to show me around his school and quite honestly I was thrilled to be there with him. I felt such a huge sense of pride as I watched him introduce me to each one of his teachers, even ones whose names he hadn’t memorized yet. He took my hand and guided my down the halls of his school with a huge grin on his face and happy hop in his step. As we navigated the large crowd of students and parents; I would hear everything from “Daddy, look at this art project we did. Isn’t it awesome” to “Hi Spanish Teacher!” and then her returning the greeting with a “Hello, kindergarten student!” I could tell he belongs there – he is ready – he has arrived.
“As I followed him down those hallways at school that evening; I saw him age from birth all the way through High School, and I was happy with what I see for him in his future.” -Me
Any sad feelings that I’ve experienced lately have an equally happy counterpart. I’ve been so unbelievably happy that he’s grown up before my eyes to be such a wonderful young man. He truly is the most remarkable person I have ever known. He lives in the moment, has an edgy competitiveness, soaks up knowledge like a sponge and has such compassion and unconditional love for others. He embodies everything I’d wished he’d be. With so much room for growth and development in his future, I can only imagine what a wonderful man, husband and father he will become one day. For me; Kindergarten was the Start of Something Beautiful!