We just got back from JD’s Kindergarten evaluation with the state of NJ. He…
Did awesome! Nailed it and I knew he would. JD has been in a competitive, enrichment program since he was two and I’m very proactive with him when it comes to reading, flash cards, art and educational trips. In addition to good 'ole fun (we're regulars at the park and he plays team sports). I am very proud of my little guy—and frankly, I am proud of myself. With the tremendous help of his wonderful teachers, I have readied him for Kindergarten as a working single parent and this is not easy. No matter how exhausted I am at the end of the day, we do worksheets, art and read—and it all paid off. I am a proud, beaming mom! Before the team from the State took JD into the testing room, I explained to the child psychologist that I am a single parent and Dad is not involved, that JD doesn’t know his Dad. And she said something that will stick with me forever.
“That’s really a shame. A shame a parent can't be there for their child.” She acknowledged me as the active parent, she didn’t pity us—she pitied the absent parent. Before JD left with the team, he unflinchingly reached for my cheeks, up on his tippy toes. I bent down and he kissed me. “Bye, Mommy!” and off my confident little boy went. “I can already tell what a great parent you are,” the psychologist said and my eyes watered up. I watched my baby in his little polo shirt and Converse walk away until I couldn't see him anymore. I spent the next twenty-minutes trolling the halls admiring art and projects on display—and thinking.
Thinking about that cold winter alone in New York when I was pregnant, climbing over icy mounds of snow. Our tiny, first apartment in NJ and the bedroom we shared. My debut book signing in NYC—reading to an audience as JD hugged my leg. Flashes of black and white images danced through my head and I found myself overwhelmed with emotion—great happiness and joy! We have survived. I have figured this out. This journey is endless, I’ve traded seasons of my life, I’ve cried, laughed, been blessed one over daily. I was awakened from memories when a mom tapped me on the shoulder. “Do you think your son is ready? He's so young,” she said. “My daughter is 6 and I didn’t think she was OK last year.” I smiled. “He’ll be fine,” I said.
When JD was 2, I printed out this Is Your Preschooler Ready For Kindergarten Quiz and put it on my fridge. JD wasn’t even potty-trained then. He went to school in diapers and his cubby was stocked with em. One by one, I checked off every, single goal and it’s a wonderful, overwhelming, emotional feeling. I began writing my blog as a scared, confused, eager and excited 26-year-old. I had no idea what I was getting myself into (mom or career-wise), but I knew it would be the most important thing I ever took on. Today I can say, I am a confident, proud 31-year-old mother and an accomplished writer. My little boy continues to teach me new things every, single day—just as much as I teach him. We're a team.
JD will start Kindergarten a few days after his fifth birthday this Fall! He'll be one of the youngest, I'm told. The team was thrilled with his testing. "We asked him to count to 10. He kept going and we cut him off at 21." Join me in congratulating my baby (sob)! We just got back from a celebratory brunch.
Ah, this is the last week of my blog on parenting.com Two more posts to go. It’s been an absolute pleasure, my friends. Thanks to Ana, Shawn, Sasha, Melanie, Kate, Valerie & Elina—and everyone at Bonnier for their support and this epic platform.
******* MORE NEWS IS COMING so friend me on Facebook & follow me on Twitter @JDSMOM2007 to keep up—this isn't the end, only the beginning. Order a copy of my single mom memoir, Rattled! or download it @ iTunes. It's now available onaudible.com Check out ChristineCoppa.net for more info.