SoLongPTA Empty Nest Blog

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As we walked out of my son’s pre-school graduation ceremony, he looked up at us with his big brown eyes and announced: “Think I’m done with all this school stuff.”  We smiled and told him that would be fine, but urged him to give it one more year.  Because all you really need to know, you learn in Kindergarten.

I should know, I repeated KinderGarden 3 times.


(Actual son at actual Kindergarten Graduation with actual red-eyes from old cameras.)


Learn & Grow!

(circa 1969)

So 3 years to graduate. . .before you start to worry about my napping skills and sharing capabilities (and bless you girl for caring), my mom was one of the teachers, and it was either go with or stay home with a babysitter watching Romper Room and Dark Shadows.  Who wouldn’t want to go to “Learn & Grow at The KinderGarden”??

*and they wondered why I couldn’t spell. 

Click for Show



Official Kindergarten Graduation Check List:

  1.  Share.
  2. Play fair.
  3. Don’t hit.
  4. Put things back.
  6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
  8. Wash your hands before you eat.
  9. Flush.
  10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  12. Nap.
  13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold  hands, and stick together.
  14. Be aware of wonder.
  15. Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup: the roots go down, and the plant goes up, and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  16. Goldfish and hamster and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die.  So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.”

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten      -Robert Fulghum

Indeed, it appears that Mr. Fulghum wrapped up the School of Life into 16 incredible steps.  Go forth and conquer little ones!  But wait, who taught us all how to breathe?  What?  Now that’s a basic, basic, and at 55 I just learned I do it backwards.


While looking over my educational checklist, as one does from time-to-time,  I noticed #14 had been lacking my love.  “Be Aware Of Wonder.” Ouch,  I stopped doing that a couple of kids ago.  The old comfort zone had shielded my eyes from anything outside of packing lunches, laundry, and, of course, PTA fundraisers.


With a big bag of courage and all insecurities kicked to the curb, it was time to expand my own life, sans kids.  Somehow the universe decided it would be a good thing for me to explore the mysterious world of YOGA.  Oh yes, those dimly lit, spa smelling rooms where the enlightened go to “practice.”


  • Current yoga knowledge level: ZERO. 
  • Current new-thing comfort level: Less Than ZERO.  At least I could always go home to #10. 



Lesson one, class one: I breathe backwards.  Holy-chaturanga!   Inhale; your belly fills up and out.  Exhale; your belly empties and flattens.  Only I do the opposite. . . and for LV (55) Years.  

Am I the only one?

Please check your breathing now and let me know if I can send you an “I Know How to Breathe” tee shirt..    


To further my knowledge of this newfound breathing thing and not feel like a complete idiot in my next yoga class, I did as one does, and purchased the Idiot’s Guide to Yoga. 


Chapter 1. The SIX (6!!) Types of Breathing:

  • Breathing (Pranayama)
  • Victorious Breath (Ujjayi)
  • Three Part Breath
  • Alternate Nostril Breath
  • Breath of Fire
  • Lion’s Breath
  • Morning Breath (ok, that one was mine.)

WOW.  I was so glad I allowed myself to just GO.   So thankful I didn’t put crazy expectations on myself that I should have circus-like balance or know to silence my phone or place my water bottle out of Twisted-Warrior range or bring my own towel to plant my face on during the Childs Pose (not everyone practicing has sweet smelling feet). 


I was so Zen-filled that I actually let myself feel like a circus-reject in the middle of Shangri-La.   I was uncomfortable and so what.

The term “practice” in yoga is the bomb.  It means it is all about YOU and YOUR journey. 

You just go and get whatever you get. 

  • Quiet time in your mind.
  • Stretching muscles you forgot you had.
  • Remembering balance is needed in more areas than just your checking account.
  • Strength in knowing you held that stupid Chair Pose way longer than was humanly necessary.  (My butt & I thank you YOGI Erin @regalgirl19.)


“Practice” may actually be my new favorite word.  You can’t graduate from a practice; you just keep, well, practicing.  


Practice really doesn’t make perfect. . . (scratching head), yes! the things we are learning from YOGA!!


*Some class observations:

  • There will probably be someone doing way harder moves than instructed.  Envision some tight & toned, 23-year-old contorting into what I imagine is called the “One-legged-lotus-princess.”  Good for her and her journey. 
  • There could also be some yogi who takes the teacher up on the option of “staying in Child’s Pose the entire class.”  So what.  Good for them.  They are in their own practice.  And it might just be me.  “Om shanti shanti shanti.”

One yoga class and my world (and belly) have expanded!  What else did we not learn in Kindergarten???  I believe my 3-peat alma mater “The KinderGarden” could have really put themselves on the map if they had just added: “Live, Grow & Breathe.”  


 Stay tuned, grab hands, and let’s explore together.  Can I hear an OOOOOMMMM?

BIRDbirdSMALL copy


 I.   Give some attention to your “WONDER”!                    “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.    Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it”. –Goethe

 II.   Mantra: New things are uncomfortable, and so what?  That first yoga class was “uncomfortable,” and so was  childbirth.  So what?  I LoVed the outcome of each, and  made girlfriends along the learning curves of both.  Join  forces with a friend or simply force a group of friends to join  you in trying something new and probably uncomfortable!

 III.   Mr. Fulghum is no doubt brilliant, but please Robert,    add “aim” to number 9.     #boys

 Namaste Tribe.