Friday, September 5, 2008

Time, Tide and Kindergarten

And so the first week of school has passed by, and there are two - count 'em, two - school-agers in our house now. Who would have ever thought? Tabitha started third grade on Tuesday, and Lauren is now a kindergartner. With Tabby, going to school has become old hat - she gathers up her stuff and moves on. But for Lauren, it was a big day. Not as perfect as she would have liked it to be, since she ended up with a different teacher than the one her sister had for kindergarten, but just fine nonetheless.

They go to a neatly-kept little school named for a president whose main achievement was that "he wasn't bad." Every morning they march away from us and toward their friends, their classmates and their future. And all I can do is watch, hope and remember. Every parent does this. Children exist, in parents' minds, in four dimensions - the three you see and the fourth, which is time. When parents look at kids, they see them across time - as the person they are, as the babies and toddlers they used to be, sometimes even as the adults they may become. It gets confusing sometimes, and it can be hard to address the correct kid - you pitch your remarks too young, too old; you forget that they are bigger now.

And they are bigger now. But not too big. Not yet.

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