In a few short weeks, we will be celebrating your 5th birthday. YOUR FIFTH. Last week we signed you up for Kindergarten. I held it together the whole long hour of watching you go from table to table, meeting with different teachers (They called you “Jackson” and I didn’t even interrupt them to say you were actually my “Jacky” or “Jackaroni”). You were so well-behaved and polite. I watched you answer all the questions they asked you; watched you in that big chair, your feet dangling and swinging back and forth, never stopping.
They told me you scored 100% and that you were ready for Kindergarten.
You were ready.
But what about me?
I am NOT ready.
No, I’m not ready yet.
Later that day, the day of your Kindergarten Registration, something I read a while ago popped into my head. An article I came across when I was pregnant with you. Even back then, when you were safe and sound in my belly, still all mine, it made me cry and beg for this time with you to last forever.
Eighteen years is not enough*. A crib is bought. Christmas trees get picked out. There is the park and lullabies and a little help with homework. The days pass uncounted, until they end.
The days pass uncounted, until they end.
I held it together that day of your Kindergarten registration. I put on a brave face and plastered on a smile, but here, at home, thinking about when that morning comes and your backpack disappears up the school bus steps, I’m not feeling so brave.
Baby boy, eighteen years is not enough.
That afternoon, out of sight, I lost my brave face and broke down into tears. I cried a soul-wrenching, body shaking, nose-dripping cry. See, this represents the end of a chapter for us. Oh Jackaroni, I am so excited for you. I’m so proud of you and you are going to be great. You are going to learn so much and meet new friends and have new experiences. But, selfishly, I just want time to slow down because, no, I’m just not ready yet.
*This is not the original piece I read back in 2010 (when I was pregnant with Jacky). I couldn’t find that one. This is a very similar version with the same sentiment and the same phrase “Eighteen years is not enough.“