My oldest is starting kindergarten in a few weeks, so of course my newsfeed is filled with posts about it: what he needs to know, what I need to know, the sentimentality, the nostalgic ache of parenting, and the joy of watching someone grow. Kindergarten is everywhere.
I don’t need any reminders. I already feel such a deep, heavy longing as his world gets bigger and my view of it becomes more and more distant. I can hardly stand it as his life moves further and further from my heart.
Still, we’ve gotten the letter in the mail telling us who his teacher is. We have a reading log that he fills out by himself. There is a Staples bag of school supplies tucked under my desk and a new lunchbox arriving by mail. His new shoes sit ready by the door, a silent reminder each time we come and go. He’s so excited, he’s so ready, but I am neither.
So today, let’s not talk about kindergarten.
Let’s have a day of simplicity. Let’s leave the weary thread-bare topic ahead and turn our faces instead towards the moment we’re in.
Today, let’s go for a walk and watch the clouds as they dance in the sea breeze. We’ll flick shells with our burrowing toes and find treasures left by the tide. We’ll turn our faces to the wind and see who can shout the loudest.
Let’s find a stick and paint muddy trails across the stone wall. You can swirl the mud puddle until its creamy taupe turns dark and chunky. We’ll dip the long, leaning wisps from the willow tree and use them to trace swirls across the top of the rolling wall.
Let’s go to the city and walk hand-in-hand through the crowded market. We’ll jostle against one another, each sense assaulted. We’ll sit at a crowded picnic table, skin sticky as we lick the blood of fresh cherries from our fingers and watch the market go by.
Today, let’s lie on our backs and let the grass tickle our knees. Fingers intertwined. Secrets whispered. Our heads just barely touching, your hair soft upon my ear.
Let’s return to a busy home, where the dog needs walking and the dishes fill the sink. A home where the sounds of crashing legos and calls for Mama echo down the hallways. Where we bustle about our business and bury concerns about tomorrow in the busyness of today.
Let’s stay up late and listen to the crickets as they sing their tone-deaf hymns. Let’s sing back to them, from the back porch, waving away the mosquitos until we’re driven back inside.
Today, let’s forget what’s coming. Let’s celebrate a day of oblivion. Let’s marvel at where we are. Let’s hold each other and remember.
Today, let it still be summer, let you still be little, and let us enjoy what we have, today.
But please, let’s not talk about kindergarten.