‘Twas the Night Before Kindergarten

‘Twas the night before kindergarten
and all through the place
not a creature was stirring
except the frenetic author of this space.

The children were tucked haphazardly in bed
because they fight going to sleep
like most resist the undead.

Preparations were made and concoctions couldn’t lag
sweet potato waffles for breakfast
and tortellini for your lunch bag.
When in the kitchen there arose such a clatter
Spouse ran to the room to see what was the matter.
Homemade honey ice cream was whirring around
and the tea kettle was making a delightful whistley sound.

For what to my addled brain did become clear
was that the family needed enough chamomile
to tranquilize a deer.
So I brewed and I chilled and I diluted in safe steel
that magical herb that would make us all feel
that your first day of school would be more than okay
though nothing in your young life had ever gone quite that way.

You’re wonderful, clever, funny, and dear
and you’re stubborn, persistent, intense, and I fear
that one or the other of these will transpire:
you’ll fall apart in this new school
or make me seem quite a liar.
For I have foretold how you’d be slow to warm and shy
but just to prove me wrong I bet you’ll be the school’s
sunniest guy.

I love you too much and I hope it’s all fine
because if kindergarten’s hard for you
we can’t afford enough wine.

But of course once you warm, about you they’ll rave
because what you deserve most is to skate through unscathed.

[I love love love you little boy. Good luck. I hope against hope school’s everything that makes you love learning forever.]

22 thoughts on “‘Twas the Night Before Kindergarten

  1. So many emotions on such a special day. Can’t wait to hear about Peanut’s adventures at school. Beautifully written piece, Nap!

  2. Chamomile! Genius.

    Wishing you all the best of everything, even if that does sound like a Hallmark first day of school card. (Do they make first day of school cards? They must. I bet they do.)

  3. sending all the good in the force i can muster!! i hope for you what i’m hoping for me; that all the worry is for nothing and everything goes awesome for the first time ever and we are surprised and exhausted. it’s worth the hope right? we start tues….

  4. bring it, nappy! peanut is powerful. i hope he doesn’t cause the weak, peanut-allergy riddled classmates allergic reactions. but that’s their parent’s problem, right? he’ll be fine. don’t you dare worry. i’m sure butter will pick up where peanut is leaving off and you’ll still be plenty riled up on the regular. congrats!

  5. nap, hoping you are all doing ok… the little part of my brain that’s for freaking out without anyone noticing is completely preoccupied about k…(and the “there’s something wrong with aunt diane” documentary, i haven’t been able to drive without anxiety since tuesday)… worried you are sitting in a corner repeatedly beating your head against a wall, my rotation of thoughts is going from wondering when spillover tantrum will occur to wondering how you are, to hoping teacher will start with his bottle of soap so that he doesn’t freak out about stinky soap, hoping you didn’t have to send a note about not using hand sanitizer on your kid…. oh nap i hope you are doing ok!!! after this week of changing cups and constantly refilling water because it smells bad, eating only carbs, freaking out a bit about the destruction from irene all around us (we fine it’s a stones throw who aren’t) he’s been textbook him…. brings me to wondering if i’ll be waving good bye with a big smile on my face and no tears…..tell me i’ll be happy to see him go, that it was good for you and him, that his fragile spirit will be ok and that your family made it through the first days!! or tell me the truth… either way i hope you’ve survived!!

  6. Quick check in because I haven’t time to post…he was FINE. Said he didn’t want to go but lined up (ugh) and walked in goofing off. Three days in a row. I waited until he was inside and BAWLED an ugly, sobby cry. Vowed never to be cross with him again because our time together is now over and I have no more chances to parent him. (Lasted 10 hours total, mostly because he was gone the first five of that.) He was pretty cool the first couple of days, and we both lost our tempers the afternoon of the third day. But this has been remarkably easy. So far. For now. One day at a time.
    (Damn, I forgot about the sanitizer. I have appointed myself the school’s non-toxic advocate and have a long list but never checked for sanitizer in the classroom. Time enough next week. Breathe. Breathe.)
    Didn’t know what a big deal it would be for me. Didn’t know how simple it would be for him. Couldn’t be I overthought another one, could it?

    • They always turn out to be tougher than we think. Well, I’m wishing on the “always” part anyway. Yes, breathe mama breathe.

  7. phew. kinda…. you didn’t over think, they have trained us to live on the edge of knowing what is next and trying to be prepared and then throwing us for a loop. strategy in place is just survival. breathe is right and you rock, you did it! kudos for not throwing up when you saw him in line….

    • Oh, the Sharpie tears. OMG how desperately sad was that: in case you don’t know every piece of half torn tissue my son has ever touched, this is our phone number. I hope he’s not lost and it’s just the backpack you’re calling about.

  8. Pingback: September rituals « Naptime Writing

  9. Wonderful poem. My baby of three starts Junior Kindergarten on Monday and I feel the same way I felt when my other two started. This time, however, I am sending a sweet, blonde, cute, pistol and fear what may come of her entering this institution. I think that it is a good thing that I supply teach and know the staff quiet well. They will be more liable to forgive me! LOL I love your blog!

      • Sounds like our kids are VERY similar!! I warned the staff at our school 4 years ago……to transfer out!! Last June while I was supplying at the school I said to the staff at lunch…”Well……she starts in September…..and remember….I warned you! So now all I can say is…I’m sorry!!” It was too funny! They have watched her drop off her older sister in skunk costumes and tu-tu’s….and can’t wait to see what she wears to school this year!

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