How I Survived The Last Year of Kindergarten

I had been dreading that day for over five years. The last first day of Kindergarten.

A lot of moms get sappy when their kids start school (although some celebrate- no judgement!) but this was my BABY!!! (Insert crying emojis.) I spent 18 1/2 years having preschool aged children at home, so it was a major adjustment and I am not a big fan of change. Still, I knew she was ready to go.

How I survived the last year of Kindergarten...

On the first day of school she gave me hugs and kisses, then waved and marched onto the bus like a champ. Tears streamed down my face as I turned around and walked back into an empty house. It was quiet. I had spent years wishing for just a few minutes to hear my own thoughts but in that moment the silence was louder than any whining or screaming. I hated it.

Mom whisked me away to Hobby Lobby for the day. I still cried, but it was a good distraction. I bought a large pile of fabric and made big plans to sew, craft, and catch up on my mile-long to-do list. Full disclosure: I have not used any of that fabric yet (#fabrichoarder) and I only checked a few things off of that list.

I was ridiculously productive for about 2 weeks, but as the days passed, I decided that I really did not like being at home alone. When I tried to go somewhere, though, I always felt like I was forgetting something. There was no one to buckle into a carseat, no whining in the stores, no hand to hold, and no one to talk to. I had a hard time focusing on the reason I had even stepped into a store because I felt utterly LOST all the time. The adjustment did not go very well.

I decided to be intentional about being AVAILABLE this school year. I did a lot of substitute teaching and volunteering at the elementary. I met with friends for lunch or coffee. I I tried to help, listen, give advice, or just be present. I began to see that the days at home alone were a blessing that I could share with others. With that focus, I was able to let go of my sadness over what had been and accept the season I had moved into. It was like having my fists clenched tight, grasping to hold onto the past, and slowly uncurling white-knuckled fingers to release, give, and receive with open palms.

A heart made of sand in hands...
A heart made of rocks...
A heart made of moss...

I survived the last year of Kindergarten.

My daughter has flourished academically. Her teacher went above and beyond to make learning fun and playful. I wanted to thank her in a special way. Since I had more free time than any other Kindergarten year, I decided to make her a quilt. I had the students each sign a 5” white square when she was away and last week I decided to finally piece the quilt top. I used blue and gold (school colors) from my stash (even my hoarded, “good” fabric!) I initially tried free motion quilting, but my sewing machine broke and the tension was bad, so I ripped it all out. I did wavy line quilting on my mom’s sewing machine. The backing is blue and the binding is a bright yellow. I blurred out the other students’ names because I am unsure of privacy stuff.

Teacher gift idea- patchwork quilt in school colors signed by the students
End of year teacher appreciation gift- patchwork quilt made in school colors and signed by the class
Kindergarten class quilt
Teacher gift idea- quilt signed by the class!

It is simple, but it is truly one of my favorite quilts! I hope her teacher enjoys it.

Summer vacation has officially begun. The elementary students were sent home with giant pixie sticks. (Well played!) I might be wishing for some of that quiet again, but no matter what season I am in I need to try to make the most of it.