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Friday, January 31, 2014

I just signed their childhood away.

The last time I had to sign really important, life changing papers, the babies were 3 and 4 weeks old and I was being granted permission to take my 3 and 4 pound babies  out of the NICU and bring them home. (Yes, I was allowed to bring Hunter home weighing 3 lb. 8 oz!!!) The magnitude of that day has not diminished with time. I clearly remember saying to Brian, "Holy crap! They're letting us TAKE them?" And then, upon our arrival home, something to the effect of, "Now what do we do with them?" 

Two days ago, I rushed to the mailbox, as I've been doing for weeks now, eagerly awaiting 3 specific pieces of mail. I opened the lid and knew instantly that my wait was over.  Before me, nestled between grocery store ads, credit card offers and my Family Fun magazine, were three identical envelopes welcoming my teeny preemies to college kindergarten. Goodbye baby-hood, hello big world. With just three swipes of my pen, I granted, with hesitation, my "consent" to let my kids grow up. My babies officially became "Gale Tigers!" 

The fact that I, too, was once a "Gale Tiger", puts a smile on my face and maybe a tear (or two,) in my eyes. It's weird. Like 'de ja vu', life-full-circle weird. 

The boys don't really get it, or don't really care, but Hunter does. She senses my pride and also acknowledges my hesitation to let her go..."I don't want to get big, mom." But she does. She just says that to me because she knows it's what I want to hear. I love her for that. It's all the other moments that her true colors shine through. 

It's the "Mom, can I work on my letters so I'm really good at them in kindergarten?" and the, "Will I have homework like Autumn?" moments that I sense her desire to rule the world. I hate that she wants to grow up and I love it. Why is parenting so hard?  

The boys are much more my babies. They're smart. (All three of them.) They love to learn, but the boys, well, they may be mama's boys... They still want boo-boos kissed and they don't care about writing their letters. (Though they do love their sight words and numbers and letters.) It's been part of our nightly routine for a while now, to practice our words and numbers, (because we learned letters and sounds long ago) and only recently have they acknowledged or understood that we do this in preparation for kindergarten.  :) 

Being a mom is hard. Being a kindergarten teacher to three kindergartners at once is going to be even harder. I have high expectations of my students and I have high hopes for my babies. The teacher in me can't help but acknowledge that though their development has been pretty similar so far, there may  come a time when that is no longer the case. 

It is my hope that their teacher will welcome them with a kind heart. It is my hope that she will continue to mold them into responsible citizens; that she will discipline with love, firmness and fairness, that she will always help them right their wrongs, calm their fears, praise their successes and always know that she will be remembered for a lifetime for her patience and ability to instill a love of learning in even the littlest minds. It  is my hope that she will love them for the unique individuals that they are, while recognizing the "triplet-ness" that does also define them.   (For the record, I happen to know that the kindergarten teachers there are pretty amazing and I may or may not have even graduated with one of them. :) {no pressure, Amber.  :) }

And so the countdown begins...Look out July. 

(And because I'm sure many of you are wondering why I'm not sending them to my own school, my own class or even my own district, I'll just say this- For many reasons, the stars were not aligning. This decision felt right and I'm happy about it.) 

On a much lighter note, as if THAT mail wasn't great enough, look what ELSE came in the mail this same day! My Life Planner from ErinCondren.com. I was the last one to jump on this bandwagon in my little group of friends. So my sister granted me an early birthday present and got me my own planner so that I can be in the cool kids' club too.  It's ah-mazing.

And it comes with a whole page of personalized stickers to help keep me on schedule ESPECIALLY when I have three kindergartners and a husband who works out of town a LOT. {Thought I was exaggerating? A whole page of 'Brian Gone' stickers and he says, "Did you only get one page?"} 

And the cherry on top of this already great day? 
Two heart shaped rocks. 
I haven't seen any in months and today, I found two.  :) 

Happy Me. 

Much, much more to come in this kindergarten story.  :)
Thanks for coming along. 


Kim said...

WOW Ami!! Where did the time go!?!?! You have been an amazing Mom and Kinder teacher!! The Bunchkins will do great!!!

Courtney said...

How are they possibly going to kindergarten!? All three of your sweet babes will do wonderful, as they have had the most wonderful teacher since they were born <3

Ami said...

Dave and Courtney, thank you both so much for the words of encouragement. It's a crazy BIG step that I thought would take much, much longer to get here...Courtney, when those babies are born, KEEP 'EM LITTLE! :)

Anabelle said...

If I can do the kindergarten mom thing you can too! And I'm not even a crazy mom!
While I know this starting kindergarten thing is big, why was the life planner NOT the lead story??? That is a definite life changer. :) Welcome to the club! Imagine what our lives will be like in July when we have the lesson plan book!!! I CANNOT WAIT!

Courtney said...

My gosh they are so big! But they are so totally going to ROCK kindergarten. Can't wait to see what the new school year brings for them!

Mary said...

Just doesn't seem possible! I remember their birth like it was yesterday...

Signs of Pregnancy said...

You've got three adorable kids. Hunter kind of reminds me of myself, a sensitive kid. That's just the beauty of having a baby girl. It's a blessing you got a girl out of three. My mom always feels thankful for having us girls in her life. She always points out the difference of moms without a girl as a child, that it'd be lonesome and worrisome to have all guys in the household. By the way a huge round of applause for Colton, Hunter and Ethan for getting accepted in kindergarten! You better prepare yourself as well.

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