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PERSONALLY SPEAKING

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The joy, sorrow of starting kindergarten

By Bryan Marshall

 

I don’t really remember what it was like on my first day of kindergarten at Crescent Springs Elementary.
I couldn’t tell you if I was excited or I cried and begged my parents to not leave me at such as strange place with even stranger people.
But, having covered schools for more nearly a decade for two different newspapers, I can honestly say my two favorite work days of the year is watching kindergartners on their first day and seeing them graduate at the end of the year.
I have been to Williamstown Elementary the past few years on opening day to see the young children begin their educational journey in kindergarten.
Some are thrilled to be there, having watched a older sibling take the path before them.
Others are less than happy as tears stream freely down their cheeks as their parents walk out of the room.
It’s an emotional day for a lot of people.
You would be hard-pressed to find anything more adorable than seeing those same little boys and girls months later all grown up, wearing caps and gowns, as they moved toward first grade.
You would think a famous celebrity had showed up at the ceremony and brought paparazzi to Williamstown with the amount of cameras flashing that night.
Everyone from parents and grandparents to teachers and siblings could not be prouder of the “graduate.”
At Williamstown, they have a tradition where they show a short video featuring the students dressed up like what they want to be when they grow up.
There are a lot of basketball players, soldiers, firemen and doctors.
The funniest is when a student dresses like a police officer and pretends to handcuff one of their friends.
Watching the video always makes me wonder what these boys and girls will be like 12 years from that day and they put on another cap and gown and get ready to join the real world.
Who knows how much their lives will change before that time, but it is never clearer that they are growing up fast and they won’t be mommy and daddy’s little boy or girl much longer.
It’s impossible not to think of my own children.
That is the part that makes me the most emotional I think.
My oldest son will be turning 5 this summer and will be starting kindergarten in August.
There is about 99.9 percent of me that is beyond pumped for him to start school.
Financially, it will be a blessing to not have to spend so much on daycare.
But, even more importantly, I am looking forward to watching him learn and grasp new ideas and become the man I know he will become.
I can’t wait to go to school programs and volunteer for field trips and be a part of this experience with him.
I know he is ready.
With a teacher for a mom, he likely has a leg up on most incoming students already.
Sure, he will be just as nervous as the other students, but he will adjust quickly and be fine.
But, there is still that sliver of a percentage that wants to chain him to his room so he can never leave while I look for some magic potion that prevents him from growing up.
Time goes by too fast.
I don’t want to miss anything and I don’t want the feeling of coming home to my two boys to ever end.
I know there will come a day when it will be time for them to leave the nest and fly on their own.
I just wish it didn’t seem like the countdown was already beginning.

(Bryan Marshall is a staff writer at the Grant County News. He can be reached at bmarshall@grantky.com or by phone at 859-824-3343.)