I have a kindergartner and she’s ready.
She searches through the stack of coloring books looking for the workbook filled with letters to trace and pictures to count and label. When I use a word she doesn’t know, she asks what it means. I can see her little brain processing as we talk about how many more cups of flour are needed for our cookies.
She’s ready to be taught and challenged, ready to learn.
“I’ll get it,” she says as she pulls the blueberries from the fridge and turns to the sink to wash them. She reaches for two bowls and fills one for herself and one for her little brother. She prompts him to sit beside her so they can eat their snack.
She’s ready to help and be kind and look out for others. She’s ready to lead.
She pulls a dress over her head and then searches for shorts to wear beneath it. I offer to brush her hair, but she grabs the brush and then easily pulls her brown locks back into a ponytail.
She’s ready to become her own person, a unique identity beginning to form.
She sits at the dinner table, filling her own plate and asking for seconds. She no longer needs my help. She carries her empty plate to the table and asks to be excused.
She’s ready to walk across the cafeteria, confidently holding her tray. She’s ready to do it on her own.
She rides her bike confidently in front of me, but suddenly she loses her balance. She falls off her bike and looks back at me with tears in her eyes. “What’s most important?” I ask her. “To try again,” she replies as she lifts her leg over the bike and places her foot on the pedal.
She’s ready to fail and learn and try again.
She laughs with her friend as they play in her room. Barbies spread across the floor and imagination fills the room. When it’s time to leave, they smile and say goodbye—they’ve already made plans for next time.
She’s ready to meet new kids, include others, and grow friendships.
She changes into her jammies, brushes her teeth, and pulls back the covers from the bed she made that morning. She crawls in and I lie beside her—she reminds me to pray for her new teacher. A few minutes later, I glance back through her door and see her sleeping, dreaming of new adventure ahead.
She’s ready to chase the dreams in her heart and find the purpose God’s created her for.
And you know what? I’m ready, too. I’m ready for her to walk through the doors of kindergarten and take the first steps toward the strong, independent, unique, beautiful young woman she will become.
This first day of school isn’t a goodbye . . . it’s just a beginning.