Cherishing {my daughter} the last summer before kindergarten

The last few birthdays my daughter has had I remember marveling at how big she was. “How could she possibly already be one, two, three and four?” Well here we are on the cusp of 5, about to enter her last Summer before Kindergarten. Kindergarten! Now I’m sitting here laughing at my former self. Five, 5 is big!  Five means that come Fall we are faced with sending her into the world for 7 hours a day all by herself. 
Deep down I know she’ll succeed. I know she’s smart enough, secure enough and social enough to go off to school. But to me, I still see that baby I brought home from the hospital. Or the toddler that would pull on my shirt saying, “I hold you,” when she wanted to be picked up. I’ve seen her grow up before my eyes and know how quickly time flies. I know I need to spend this last summer before she starts school cherishing her and each moment we have together.
I know that as kindergarten comes to a close I’ll have her home again for a couple months before sending her back to school for another year.  And then each following school year to follow we’ll spend our summers together. But for some reason this summer seems final. As if I’m saying goodbye to my first baby and welcoming a new big girl version of her.  As she gets older she’ll spend more time with her friends in the summer and less time at home. I was a teenager once, I know the drill. These young years are fleeting.  
I’ve always thought I’d be that mom that would focus on preparing my daughter for the following school year in the summertime. Spending time honing her reading and math skills to give her a leg up for the next grade. But now as summer approaches that doesn’t seem quite as important. By the end of kindergarten all of the kids will be reading anyway, why rush it?
So this {last} summer before we start our new journey in kindergarten, you can find me treating my daughter to Mommy-and-me ice cream dates. Or playing endless games of Polly Pockets and splashing with her in the pool. I’ll give her all the cuddles kisses and hugs time allows because before you know it I’ll be cherishing her last summer home before college. 


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