I must admit that I had mixed feelings when it actually came time to drive away with only one daughter. But our youngest happily bounded into my husband’s office, ready for her own weekend adventure. It only got better from there…
During our car ride, I immediately noticed how different the conversation was. Just the two of us. I got to hear all of Emma’s thoughts on what we should do this weekend and where we should stop for dinner. I also got to hear about the best- and hardest- parts of being 5. I could really see how deep Emma’s love for her family goes, and how her family is never far from her thoughts. Each time we chatted, I saw Emma and heard Emma, as an individual.
In September, Emma will start Kindergarten. I have already spent countless hours weighing all of the educational options and even imagining what our days would be like if we were to homeschool. So much of my motivation has come from fear. At the heart, my fear is that Emma will be absorbed into a system that doesn’t honor the individual. My fear is that no one will be able to see her and hear her as I do.
Truth. No one will ever be able to see her and hear her as I do.
A few months ago, I let go of the fear around this next phase of our life. Instead, I have embraced complete trust in my family. It is here that we honor (no, celebrate!) each individual. It is here that plenty of room exists to make mistakes and experience deep and unconditional love. It will always be here that we learn together and explore the world around us. It will always be here that every person is seen and heard.
Truth. Systems that do not honor individuals are not sustainable.
I let go of fear and embrace this opportunity to be in community, forming connections around the growth of our children. What gifts can we share? What dialogue can we have? How do we show up for all of the children in our community?
I do not know what this path will look like. I have distant memories of my own road, and I have heard others’ stories. Some of them fill me with fear and others with joy. But this will be Emma’s own journey. At the end of the day, I trust in my family. I know we will walk alongside her, we will listen to her and we will continue to follow our hearts and our intuition as we venture further into the world together. This is what (my) kindergarten readiness looks like. This is my commitment.