Right around the time that Addie turned five, we watched for The Wizard of Oz for the first time. We had read the chapter book at night and she raptly paid attention to every detail. While Addie loved the movie - the music, the colors, the pure wonderment of it, she was, at first, rather annoyed with it's sepia tones. She wanted to know where the colors were and was impatient to wait for that magical moment when Dorothy and Toto landed in Oz. When the screen turned to color Addie was happy and was able to settle in and get the lost in the magic of the movie.
Yesterday Addie started Kindergarten - and I couldn't help but think, as the yellow bus whisked her away from me, that her world was about to be changed and amazing, that she was entering her own Oz filled with new colors and smells, people and experiences, adventures and emotions.
Addie has been talking about Kindergarten and riding the bus and having a back pack since the beginning of her second year of preschool. She has wistfully watch other neighborhood kids board the bus and head off to school for years. This year it was her turn.
Last week we went to meet her teacher Mrs. Parker - find out a little bit about Kindergarten routine and expectations, check out the classroom, and find Addie's cubby. On our way there I asked Addie if she had any questions for the teacher, fully expecting her to want to know if there would be time to play or story time. She looked at me through the rear view mirror, with those enormous hazel eyes of hers and said Mom, I have so many questions! And then went on to explain that she wondered how hot the sun is; whether the moon is cold or hot because it looks like it is covered in snow; how many planets are there in the space; how far away are the stars and are they hot too?
I couldn't help but laugh - Addie has always been an inquisitive kid who needs to know about the world around her. Not those kind of questions, I told her. I mean questions about Kindergarten itself, those question you can keep until school starts. She was quiet for a minute and they she said Yeah, I want to know if we get a snack at school. No doubt, when this little lady lands in Kindergarten her world, like Dorothy's, is going to burst into magical color.
Last week we went back to school shopping for shoes and the last of her supplies; we got her five year old check up (where we learned Addie grew 3 inches in the past year); got a back to school hair cut and carefully selected her first day of school outfit.
The night before school, Addie took a bath, was scrubbed from head to toe, nails trimmed, hair detangled and snuggled up in bed next to me by 8:15 p.m. to read The Night Before Kindergarten. Yesterday she got up willingly at 7:30 a.m. and did her chores - made her bed, tidied her room, wiped the bathroom counter. She was dressed, fed and ready to roll. Like always she watched her older friends get on the school bus and let them fuss over her on her big day, but then when we got inside she wrapped her arms around my legs and whispered very softly I'm nervous Mama. And she was.
I held her and told her was going to be okay, that it's alright to be nervous - I didn't tell her that I was nervous too. That this wasn't just a big day for her, but for me. She had been my constant companion for over five years; what was I going to do with out her?
We got out to the bus stop (our driveway) early and impatiently waited. I annoyed her with pictures, and upon reviewing them I was able to see her go from excited to apprehensive. From worried to filled with bravado. From a baby to a Kindergartner.