Remember when you were young, sweet-innocent-young, not boyfriend-naive young, no, really really young, sheltered-from-the-meaning-of-war young, and life was a big friend grab, and you managed to get yourself a pair of great friends, so you didn’t have to be left alone at play time, most of the time, and sure, they were already an inseparable pair, best buddies, but there was room for a third, sometimes…
“It’s a jungle out there.” It’s not fair to say kindergarten is ‘survival of the fittest.’ Darwin’s grand formulas take generations to brew. While every day in kindergarten may feel like a millennium, surely it’s packed with more cruelty, more raw emotion, more human-ity than 8 hours in mother nature (ever watch a documentary on lions?).
And while mother nature sits and waits, the parent of a kindergartner is doing the impossible every day, right here (anywhere), between the hours of 7 and 8am.
The parent of a kindergartner is splitting their soul.
You stand there and watch a piece of it break off and get swallowed into the mouth of the cave, and on cue, you turn your back and let life take its course. And daily, the little being you protected for so long is now becoming responsible for its own protection.
You don’t even get to be the one rolling the dice all day.
Then again, while you’re not some god, and despite your capability to love and hug tight and make triangle sandwiches, you also have the power to split your soul in half, and then half again, and again, and the knife doesn’t even have to be all that sharp.
You’re a parent, and no amount of fear or tears will change the fact that this is your job. Every day. Forever.
And then with time and experience you morph into the parent of a grade school kid. A high school student. A soldier.
And your soul keeps regenerating, or regrowing, or expanding to accommodate the splits, the breaks, the tears… leaving a young parent to wonder, how is it possible anyone makes it out of here whole?