In that instant, I knew he was ready for first grade

It was a quiet, intimate, although rushed lunch. What do you serve a child for his last lunch as a kindergartner? Over the last 9.5 months, I have quietly savored these lunches with him, knowing these were my last. Rather than buck tradition, I served him his favorite; chicken noodle soup — hold the noodles and chicken, I’ll-just-have-the-broth soup.

I warned him that I would cry at his graduation today. “Why?” he asked.

“Because I’m so happy for you,” I said.

“Well, you are going to miss me when I am gone in first grade. So you might cry because you’re sad.”

Now that the cat was out of the bag, I just let the tears flow right there and then. I have never been at ease the entire year of kindergarten, simply because I knew it would all come down to this. The year would fly by, and before I knew it, he would graduate and our magical mornings at home would soon be over. Forever. God, I’m dramatic. Still, it’s true, you can’t deny that.

I put some peanut butter on a bagel. His little brother wanted one too. His bagel broke when I tried to pry the two slices apart. Traditionally, this incident is always a ridiculous source of complaints at the lunch table, for both of them. Soon, the little brother was throwing his hissy fit over the broken bagel.

The older, soon-to-be-first-grader gently said to him, “It’s OK if your bagel is broken… because when you bite it, it will still taste the same.” More Best shot Mondays here.

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21 comments on “In that instant, I knew he was ready for first grade
  1. Yep, he’s ready.

    My daughter’s kindergarten was all day every day already so I did the mourning of losing her to that last summer…but I bet I’ll still cry when I drop her off the first day of 1st grade.

  2. Oh, Susie, that’s the boat I’m in next year and I was so aware of it, even this year. So many little decisions I made were based on, “Well, it’s only a year and he’ll be gone all day long…” Maybe that’s why I related to the job/staying home trauma you had in that post a little while ago.

    And I LOVE the helpful big brother comment!

  3. “Well, you are going to miss me when I am gone in first grade. So you might cry because you’re sad.”

    Doesn’t get much sweeter 🙂

  4. lol – funny how they console each other. 🙂

    I understand your feelings – we all feel them as they grow older… One of the twins has started saying “I love you”, and I’m thinking, “Oh no! They’re talking! Now I won’t have anymore not talking children around!”

    Funny how we look forward to them growing up, and yet we want to bottle every thing up to take out and savor later. 😉

  5. Because my child is so much older, this post and your links literally brought tears to my eyes…can’t we hold on to them for just a little while longer??? Just wait until he graduates from high school…oh, it never ends- those milestones made my heart ache, and they should be such happy things. Growth sometimes hurts for us and for them. What wisdom though out of this soon to be first grader…not just the bagel, but “how will I know that I like trains when I am old?” Wow…profound and insightful. Thanks for sharing your tender and touching times with these little boys.

  6. You’re supposed to cry at moments like that, aren’t you? At the times when you realize you’ve got a big kid sitting there instead of a little one? Heck, the kids in my life aren’t even ‘mine,’ but I cry just the same. It’s a good thing we love them, I suppose. And that’s a great, appropriate picture.

  7. i’ve gone through that rite of passage, twice. it’s surreal. and it goes so quickly!!
    how are you my friend? it’s been a long while!!

  8. Oh that made my eyes leak. My oldest starts Junior K in the Fall, we had orientation last week. It was tough – for me that is.

  9. It’s always a sign of maturity when they can use your parenting comments for themselves in the moment!

    I keep looking at my son: Where did those long legs come from? What’s that adult tooth doing peeking out there? Where’s my baby?

  10. My last, dear Youngest, finishes kindergarten tomorrow. I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed having mornings with him this year, and how I can’t imagine parting with him in the fall. What the heck will I do with my days? Congratulations to yours…and to all our kinders!

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