Tuesday, August 28, 2012

book pick: Tom Goes to Kindergarten

who's more excited
for the first day of school?
me or her?
my oldest daughter is entering kindergarten this year. we met her teacher today, a kind woman who decorates with apples and sea creatures, has a reading carpet, a puppet theater and lots and lots of books.

when Sweet One started preschool last year, i choked up a bit on the first day. there she was in a crisp sundress, a little backpack over her shoulders, still with a bit of that toddler pudge, and an excited smile. my baby's growing up! sob, sniffle, snurp. this year, i'm a bit more seasoned. i haven't even broken out the camera yet. sigh. but when my worried little girl cried this morning at home – saying, "i don't want to go to school. i want to stay home!" – a part of me wanted to say, "ok!" once she saw her new classroom and one of her best friends, however, she recovered. and i'm starting to as well, of course.

we all have to grow up some day.

still, it's nice to have a book like Tom Goes to Kindergarten to remind us that we shouldn't grow up too much.

this cute little picture book, from yet another Aussie, tells about little Tom's first-day jitters. his parents stay to help him adjust, and then realize, "hey, we want to go to kindergarten too!" Tom gets over it. his parents wish he wouldn't. but they find a way to keep the kindergarten spirit alive in the midst of laundry, washing dishes and windows, and a piled-up inbox.

the kids think this book is "so silly." yet it's also a sweet reminder to the parental narrator to add some childishness to your oh-so-serious adult life. remember that essay, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten? things like share and play fair still mean something. we're sending the kiddos off to school to learn what they need to become productive adult citizens. but there's plenty we can learn from them, too. including what it means to chill out and play – seeing life with less drudgery and more tomfoolery.

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