Monday, 25 August 2014

Get ready for Kindergarten

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I looked at the date of the last time that I actually sat down and wrote, and it was almost a month ago. A whole month where my fingers didn't hit these keys and where my brain and body have both been on complete over-drive. Because moving, renovations, cottaging and school starting in a few days means that life is moving faster than I can keep up with. But we're finally moved into our new house, the drywall dust is settling, the boxes are slowly getting unpacked and there are finally groceries stacked in our cupboards. But school? Well, all of a sudden this year is a million times harder...because it's not only me going to school in a few days. Mya is starting kindergarten.

It takes my breath away for a moment just writing that...because I just can't believe it.

I had a moment the other day at the cottage after getting home from the beach with the kids when it all just hit me. I finished wiping down sand covered feet, dried off slippery wet bodies and decided to randomly log online for just a moment--just to see what the rest of the world was doing...and you know what they were doing?


They were discussing the best lunch pails, backpacks and 'prepping your little ones for kindergarten' techniques. They were having picnic lunches to practice opening tiny Tupperware containers, and they were taking trips to the new school to scope out the kindergarten door and playground. They were practicing numbers and letters and how to zip up little coats. They were reading stories about the first day of school and organizing playgroups ahead of time with fellow classmates so that their little kindergartener would already have a friend at school who they knew. They were baking batches and batches of muffins and freezing them and carefully placing permanent labels on every single thing imaginable.

They were READY. They were totally prepared.


So I let myself have a moment. A moment to panic. A moment to feel like Mya and I both just might not even survive since I hadn't crossed off much of any of the to-do list things that I should have done by now. A moment to start making a list of all of the things that I needed to do--all of the things that WE needed to do, in order to make me feel like she would be READY. Because all of these things that all of these other moms are doing are exactly what they should be doing. As a kindergarten teacher, it's exactly what I tell any mom or any parent who asks me what they can do to get their little one ready for kindergarten. Because being prepared is definitely helpful.

But as I started to get my list together of all of the things that we would do when we got back from the cottage, I started to realize something that I had never really realized before that moment.

She's already ready. 

And so is yours.

Because prepping for kindergarten has been happening for years.

All of those times that you read bedtime stories and tucked her in at night? You were prepping.
All of those times that you hugged little bodies, kissed scraped knees and said "I love you" were prepping.
All of those times that you set boundaries, reminded her to use her manners and encouraged her to were prepping.
All of those times that you set up playdates, brought her to the park and told her to be kind and were prepping.
All of those times that you showed her that you loved her and held her little were prepping.

Because kindergarten is more than just numbers and counting and knowing how to properly write your name.

You've already done the work. You've been doing it for years. You've been raising a good little human being. And that's what really matters. The numbers, letters and reading? It will come. It will all come.

But a good little person? Well, that's the start to a lifetime of success.

So breathe, mama. You'll both be just fine.

And I'll remind myself of this as I let her go that first day and pretend that I'm not going to go sit in my car and cry. Because it's hard. It's just plain hard.

So sleep easy tonight. Know that you've done enough. Know that she's already good. She's already ready.

...And now excuse me while I go stick some Mabel's Labels on a million different things, pick out her first day of school outfit, bake up some muffins and get some snacks ready for us to take a trip to visit her schoolyard tomorrow--because some things still gotta get done.

Love to all the anxious parents out there. I feel you.

Erica xo



Saturday, 2 August 2014

Almost done

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It's interesting, this whole moving process.

We're almost at the finish line--almost done living out of cardboard boxes and eating random combinations of food from our freezer, trying to dwindle down the amount of food that has to be packed and moved. We're almost done kicking empty boxes out of our way as we bring dinner in to the kids and we're almost done living in a house that feels like it's caving in on us--box by box. We're almost done with the guilt of watching our kids try to play in a space that was once their own, but is now a tower of cardboard and packing tape. We're almost done with the stress and anxiety of all of the details, logistics, meetings, house visits and signing our names on a million different pieces of paper. It's almost ALL DONE. And we're getting excited...and getting sad.

The distraction of the details and the meetings and the packing and the new house renovations means that I can feel that sense of excitement of what's to come. But then, out of nowhere, in the rare moments of quiet, it hits me hard...every time.

Like when I'm driving in my car, windows down, radio cranked up...and Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" comes on, and I crank it up even louder because I love it...and then all of a sudden I'm wiping tears from my cheeks as I think about the reality of what is just about to happen.

Because what is just about to happen is huge.

We're moving away from a 2minute walk to my sister's house and we're moving away from a house that has become a home that we love. It all weighs heavy on my heart.

So with every box that we pack, and with every picture that comes down off the wall it's such a mixed sense of both excitement and complete sadness. Sadness that our family has grown out of our small little house and sadness that we're moving away from my sister, brother-in-law and niece and nephew (only 15minutes away--but still not just a quick walk to their house anymore). But then excitement for the space that our kids will now have, and the new playroom and yard that will hopefully become their childhood paradise.

Moving is definitely not easy.

So we've been trying to enjoy these last few weeks in our first home together.

We've run through the house trying to find raincoats and rain boots when the clouds randomly begin to part and the rain starts to pour down in the middle of the day...

...we've taken the kids on a train ride...

...and celebrated my old age...

(with the cutest and best little present that any girl could ask for!).

..and we've taken trips to the beach where little Scarlett took her very first steps. 

And so we'll now wait for the big day...only a few days away. And I'll cry, and be excited and be exhausted and be ready--because life is about to change.

Happy long weekend everyone,
Erica xo

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