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Reaching another threshold

Published September 17. 2011 09:01AM

There is a saying that time flies when you are having fun, and I must concur that this is true. It seems like just yesterday we brought home this bundle of joy named Kathryn. It's hard to believe that was almost four years ago and how fast time has passed since her first day with us.

I still remember seeing her in the bassinet when they brought her into our room after the nurses took care of her that evening in October when she was born. She was so content and happy to be with us as we were with her.

Those first milestones, a smile, a wink, then sitting and standing and finally that first step were important first achievements in her life. Watching her learn and explore her world has been such a joy. Her birthdays came and went and she continued to grow and learned to talk. Being my first daughter, it has been such a magical experience to watch each of these milestones be reached and with them the confidence and pride they create in her.

It's amazing how children learn and assimilate themselves especially when it comes to words and knowledge. I think it is so true that children are like sponges and their brains absorb and process information at astounding rates. One day they are learning individual words and the next they are speaking in full sentences. It is almost like magic the way they use words and form sentences testing each step of the way and when their assumptions are reinforced positively they continue their journey forward.

Believe it or not even though the last year of my life was stressful as I struggled to find a job in this current economy due to a corporate takeover of the company where I held my full-time job, I found myself unemployed and desperately looking for work. Yet in that time, I was also richly blessed by the unique experience of being able to share almost a year of my daughter's life with her as a full-time dad. It was a gift or a silver lining in an otherwise dark cloud that I will cherish for the rest of my life as I had the rare opportunity to see and help my daughter learn.

Now we reach another threshold which was crossed just this week. In the spring, Katie and I discussed whether it was time for Kathryn to go to preschool and we decided she seemed ready so we enrolled her in Winnie-the-Pooh Preschool in Summit Hill. We met her wonderful teachers over the summer and they had an orientation session with Kathryn and her classmates which they enjoyed. After that and for the last three weeks she has been so excited to start her preschool and she told everyone who would listen to her that she was going to go to school this fall.

While she was excited, Mommy was cool about it, but Daddy's anxiety kicked in and my mind raced with a thousand thoughts. Would she like it? Will she be happy? Was she ready? What if she changes her mind? Is it too soon? Am I being neurotic? (That answer is probably always some form of yes).

I guess part of it was I remembered my first day of kindergarten and it was terrifying. I didn't want to go and when my mom took me that first day, I think I spent the first forty five minutes in tears. I can still remember how it felt to be left there that first day and I prayed that Kathryn was not going to feel that way.

I have grown so much from that first day of school and while I have had several bumps along the road to where I am now, I know they all helped shape me into the person I am now. I have learned to be comfortable as an independent person and that in turn helped me become a devoted father and husband.

Now my daughter is at this threshold and is ready to take her first steps into the world.

Fortunately I was able to be off for her first day. She woke up eager to go to preschool and came in to my office to ask if it was time. We told her she needed to have some breakfast first and get ready for school. Judging by the speed with which she ate and got dressed she was eager to go.

When the time came, we walked to school as a family and took plenty of photos. Soon Miss Rose arrived. Kathryn and the other children along with us anxious parents took them downstairs to their classroom. I was so proud of our little girl. She immediately found her name tag on the table outside the door and Mommy helped her put it on her shirt. She then ran off into the classroom, but before she got too far, Mommy asked her for a hug. She gave us each a big one and then vanished into the classroom to begin her formal education.

I know there will be bumps along the way, good days and bad days, but yesterday I was so proud of our daughter and I wish her all the best as well as all her classmates. The so-called "circle of life" continually repeats and we all travel its circuitous road. It's so incredible that forty years ago, I was the child going through those doors scared of the future, and now my daughter has made the same trek, crossed the same threshold and has begun her own circle.

I wish her all the best and hope she seizes every opportunity to the fullest and know that we will always love and support her from her first day of pre-school to that day in the future where she completes her education.

Til next time …

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