Our daughter missed the cut off for kindergarten because of her birth date.  So even though she turned five, she remained in preschool for another year.  (If you could see me right now, my arms are raised and I’m woo-hoo’ing….the extension of her time in preschool was like a big birthday and Christmas present rolled into one for me.)  I have had a bit a lot of anxiety associated to this time of her (our) life ending….and I’ve pinned it down as to exactly why I was so anxious.  In most cases in my parenting so far, developments which marked her growing up have come gradually, with windows of time to accomplish each milestone.  For example, rolling over, walking, potty training, first lost tooth…..all of these milestones were accomplished by her without pressure.  Without signifying a real ENDING with a hard date with NO LOOKING BACK.
As the end of her last year of preschool approaches, with her last preschool field trips, with her last preschool summer impending (and also being the shortest summer we have ever had), and with that big circled August 20th glaring at me on the calendar as her first day of elementary school…..I’ve been getting the feeling as though the door to this part of her childhood, the only part I know, is SLAMMING shut.
Mini Golf Field Trip
Then something happened.  She had her first dance recital.
And she was amazing…..like, so unafraid, so excited, so confident, so prepared.

Recital Photo Package
I woke up the next morning and I was still thrilled that the performance really was so good (at this age it seems that a good performance entails everyone staying on stage the entire time and not freezing in place or crying), and I was excited that she had not only performed so well, but that she stayed to watch the entire recital, completely and totally entranced with the music and the stories being told on stage.  She genuinely enjoys dance.  And I thought about how much she loves swimming, gymnastics, tennis, and recently yoga.  It occurred to me that she has genuine interests…not just lessons I take her to hoping she likes something.  And I thought about how smart she is….she is so thrilled with herself when she shows me her school work and how she beams with pride when she adds and subtracts for me.  And I realized, she is ready.  She is prepared.  And she still has SO MANY FIRSTS left to experience.  So just like that, I felt things shift.  The anxious feeling that went along with all her “lasts” has changed to excitement.  Nervous excitement…but excitement none the less!
So now I look forward to not her last preschool summer, but her first summer of swim team, and her first day of kindergarten, and all the first time’s this new chapter will bring.

Family Post Recital

  • Hatton says:

    this is such a sweet post! She looks beautiful dancing. The only thing that’s keeping me from unraveling about kindergarten is knowing I have another baby to experience the firsts.

  • Caryn says:

    Thank you so much! It’s incredible how my perspective really did shift in a moment! We are looking forward to all that is to come!

  • Judith says:

    I love how you can see the confidence shining out of her in every photo. She is strong and independent. Just like here mama. She’s gonna do great… You both are! Love you all!

  • Sharon Neumann says:

    Caryn, you have put into sweet words what all Moms experience and you’ve explained to all of us that never stopped to wonder why we had those anxiety attacks, why we had those anxiety attacks! Brett too had an extra year in pre-school and putting him on that big yellow bus that he could hardly reach the first step to get on, was the scariest day of my life, up to that point. But, as I watched him get seated and he turned to look out the window to wave at me, with the biggest smile he could muster, my heart melted and I knew he was where he wanted to be. And that made it all OK. The happiness of your children is always in the forefront, and their smiles, their excitement, their proud moments, and all their accomplishments will always put that anxiety to rest…
    Squeeze your babies today for the Neumann’s..

  • Caryn says:

    Love you guys! As always, we look to amazing examples like yours to steer us in the right direction. Thanks for following along with us, and for all the support always!

  • Caryn says:

    You can really see it can’t you? She’s more than ready. Thanks for all the love Juju!

  • Found your internet site on Facebook, great post. Will share again.

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