Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back to School Blues

Here I am putting my little man on the school bus for his first day of Kindergarten. Where did the time go? When he was born five years ago this event in his life seemed light years away, and yet here it is, it snuck up on me. We had all the school supplies, clothes, lunch, and a little prize for the teacher. On the outside we looked ready, we had all of our ducks in a row, but secretly deep down I was not sure if we were ready for this step. How do we know when our kids are truly ready for this experience? I taught Kindergarten before I had Luke and I still don’t know the answer to that question. The thing that concerns me the most is that he trued five just last week. He was so close to the cut-off date, here in Texas in order to start Kindergarten you must be five by September 1st of that year. He met that requirement, but did I make the right decision. Educationally he has been ready for a year, he can read and write, he knows all his letter sounds and all of the Kindergarten sight words. Basically I had nowhere else to put him. I considered a Bridge program, but there he would just be board. I talked to different moms about my decision, and it seems the new trend is to hold your kids back. One mom in particular said that her son turned five last March and she is still not sending him on to Kindergarten, March, REALLY! This kid is going to be six for six months before Kindergarten even starts for him. That is the other extreme, which is hard for us because Luke is going to be in the same class with kids that are well over a year older than him. I keep thinking, what’s next, are parents going to try to start enrolling their seven year olds in Kindergarten? Parents are so worried about letting their kids go, and I know what they are worried about, I am worried about the same thing, but I learned that I had to let go. I have done everything I know to prepare him for this day, and the day is here, it is time. Weather I am ready for it or not.

I was so proud of him, the first day he got on the bus like a champ. I was glad he did not cause the scene that I was expecting. Little did I know that special behavior was saved for the second and third day of school. It is never a good sign when you have to carry your screaming five year old on the bus and then just watch him drive away. The hardest part for me is not knowing how he is doing. When they are in Pre-K you can call and check on them, and when you go pick them up you can talk to the teacher about their day. This is a whole different ball game. I never knew what it felt like to be on the other side, the parent side. I was always looking at things like the teacher, and boy does this feel different. I now and see how important parent/teacher communication is for the parent. I so badly want to go up to his school and just peek at him to make sure that he is okay, but I have to trust that the school and the teacher are doing their jobs.

After Luke got on the bus the first day things were back to normal. Had to go pay the water bill in person because I forgot yet again, and it was in danger of being shut off. The check engine light came on in my car, and then I became ill because I forgot to eat that day and I was not able to take my husband to the airport for his business trip. I felt so bad. He made all these special arrangements to be there to see Luke get on the bus and I can’t even take him to the airport because I am about to faint. My lovely sister came over to check on me and even stayed the night so that she could see Luke get on the bus for the second day, and from reading above you know how well that turned out. Like I said things were back to normal, minus one person, my big Kindergartener.

My wish for him and for all kids that have gone back to school this year is that they appreciate and enjoy learning, and that they have a good time while doing it. Whoever said that learning cannot be fun, it is, and it is a great adventure. I loved teaching Kindergarten, seeing those twenty sets of eyes gleaming back at me with excitement. I pray every day that my little man is sitting on that big rug looking back at his teacher with those same eyes!


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