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  • Terri Ruhter

Kindergarten and Other Fears

by Teri Ruhter

How do you like being four, I ask

Little Lela as she sips her milk.

I wanna be three she answers,

Eyes cast down, quiet.

But you can do more, you’re

Growing and then you’ll

Be five and you can go

To kindergarten, I prattle.

Blue eyes look up as

Little brows furrow.

I don’t wanna go to kindergarten.

I was slow on the uptake, yes,

But now I feel her fear.

Of change, of the future,

The unknown: new building,

New teachers, new kids,

Different, scary.

Because I have my own

Grandmother fears to face.

Of change, of the future,

The unknown: aging,

Loss of vigor, loss of loved ones,

Different, scary.

In Scripture, it says:

I sought the Lord and he

Answered me and

Delivered me from

All my fears. And:

The angel said to her

Do not be afraid.

I have no winged angels

In my life, no mystical

Encounters with God.

To quell my fears.

Yet, I have his very

Capable minions,

My friends and this

Grandchild who runs

Through the woods

And laughs and climbs

Everything in sight,

Even fire hydrants,

And says about the walk she

Took with her preschool class

It was so great!

She will go to kindergarten

With gusto and she will

Conquer her fears.

She will march into

That school bravely.

I know this to be true

And the vision makes

Me smile, the thought

Gives me the courage

I need to face the

Kindergarten of my

December years.

We are closer to God

Than she knows,

Lela at the beginning

Of life’s circle and me

At the other end.

Someday she will

See we were so close

That our hands could touch.

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