I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this morning I dropped off the Twins for their first day of kindergarten.
Holy shit, you guys. Is this really happening?
Of course, I knew this day was coming, but that doesn’t lighten the blow of its actual arrival. It seems like just yesterday my son was calling me (or Chuck Norris) “Dada” for the first time, or my daughter was playing air guitar while breastfeeding, or my son was giving my wife a fecal soul patch, or my daughter was still sucking her thumb through thunderstorms and animatronic pirate encounters. But the timestamps are right there on photos and videos. There’s no arguing with the date I see on the calendar. Whether I want it to or not, time relentlessly sprints forward.
Five years ago, while reflecting on the first eight months of the Twins’ life, I wrote:
I’d prefer not to tritely say “They grow up so fast” (even though it’s SO true), so I hereby submit a far greater phrase for nation-sweeping candidacy: “They grow up faster than a Red-Bull-guzzling cheetah in a Lamborghini on the Autobahn with his pregnant, twin-carrying cheetah wife going into labor.”
Go ahead, picture that for a minute. Man. Now that’s fast.
As I read this today (and just barely remember writing it), I’d like to give my past self a high five because this just about nails it.
Here’s what really gets me. For the first three years of the Twins’ lives I was a stay-at-home dad, and for the remaining two and a half years I’ve worked from home. Aside from the fantastic childcare help we’ve gotten from my mother, sister-in-law, various preschools, and the rest of our “village,” I’ve pretty much been around the whole time. I’ve had more hours with the Twins than anyone else. Yet, now that they’re entering kindergarten, I still can’t help feeling like I “missed” stuff–that I somehow should have been around EVEN MORE. The rational part of me prescribes a chill pill, but the emotional side is like, “nuh-uh.”
Parent Guilt is a real thing, you guys.
At any rate (especially the fast ones), the past is gone. All I have is today–to be attentive, to soak it all in, and to appreciate my kids as first-day kindergarteners before that’s gone, too. Once I finally get into that headspace, when I’m really honest with myself, I just really hope they have a good day.
I have no reason to believe they won’t. They’re at a great school and supposedly have its most sought-after kindergarten teacher (news to us, but YAY!) who was warm and welcoming at dropoff and made an instant connection with the Twins.
More than anything, I’m glad they have the luxury of starting kindergarten together, in the same class. I know there’s conflicting opinions about whether twins should be together, but the one time we tried separating them at a preschool, it did not go well. (Partly because that school sucked donkey balls in general and we pulled them right out). With them, it’s much more than just “already having a friend” in the class. They inherently support and complement each other. It’s true they’re together all the time and of course have their disagreements, but we’ve found they’re very good for each other in a school setting. My daughter is more social and creative than my son, so she helps him make friends, try new things, and think outside the box. On the other hand, my son is more academic and “Type A,” so he helps his sister problem-solve and encourages her to keep trying and practicing.
Every time they’ve started a new year of preschool, we’ve asked them if they want to be in the same or different classes, and every year they’ve adorably wanted to be together. I’m sure a time will come when they’re either adamantly opposed to being together or apathetic to it. But in the meantime, I take comfort in knowing that whatever is thrown at them at school, they’re taking it on together.
And in just a few short hours, I’ll be able to hear the epic tale of however this First Day of Twindergarten went from their two unique perspectives.
I just can’t wait.