My daughter started kindergarten this year. In just a few short weeks, I have noticed big changes in her that I know are part of her growing up and starting this new chapter in her life. She has homework once a week and does it even though there are days that require a lot of nudging on my part. She has had made new friends with relative ease. She rides the bus and thinks it is the coolest thing ever. She has to follow the rules and acknowledges that she will face more serious consequences than at preschool for her wrong doings. She goes to school with the “big kids” and looks up to them. She is navigating her way through this new world slowly, and on her terms.
But I have to say, the most significant transformation I have seen in her lately is her attitude. Like most school-aged children, she is very strong willed and can be tough to handle when she does not get her way. That is why I counted down the days to kindergarten. I was hoping it would give her the discipline and structure she needed at this stage in her life. So the other day when I asked her to turn off the television and go take a bath and she responded with, “Okay, mom.” Say what? She did what I asked – how is that possible? What is the catch and did I hear her correctly? Those are the first thoughts that swirl through my mind. I have just gotten used to having everything in life being a battle. But now I am hearing “Ok, mom,” more and more.
Maybe this means she is growing up and maturing? Maybe the next time someone tells me to enjoy my kids now because “they grow up so fast!” I won’t think of that as the biggest lie ever told to parents. In fact, it is becoming truer by the minute — she is growing up fast. I like her and enjoy her companionship more and more every day. And there are still plenty of moments that we do not agree and it is torture getting her dressed in the morning and putting her to bed at night. But those new moments when we are in agreement – when we are in sync, and our relationship seems to be growing and elevating to a higher level – are moments of magic.
I do not even know how this is the same kid!