Last night, I got hit by all the emotions of my son starting kindergarten (at a new school) this fall. It was full on ugly cry. For like 15 minutes. I realize that kindergarten is 7 months away, but now is when schools host open houses and tours and the lottery sign ups start. Where will he go to school? Will he make new friends? Will kids be mean to him? Is he “prepared” for kindergarten? Will he get a good teacher? Will he get in trouble for talking too much (no clue where that comes from)? Did we make a good decision holding him back a year since he has a late August birthday? Will he actually eat his school lunch? You know… just a few kindergarten anxieties for this mom.
On top of this, the school options in our area are endless! There is the neighborhood elementary school, public charter schools with lotteries for attendance, private Christian schools and non-faith private schools. As of right now, we have toured 3 private schools, 2 charter schools and our local public school. And I have 3 more tours scheduled in the next three weeks! That’s a lot of options!! It’s good to have choices because not all children learn the same but it’s also so overwhelming. We’ve been doing our best to understand what’s available and trying to find the best fit for our son.
Last night, the passage of time hit my emotions like a ton of bricks. I realized that my son is 5.5, I can barely pick him up and he is so hard to sit in my lap due to his size. Yes, he is healthy, happy, and wonderful- all great things, but still difficult to wrap my head around how big my “baby” is. I cried tears of anxiety to my husband as I recognize that change is coming. We have been blessed with a wonderful preschool for 5 years of school that has been a perfect fit for our son. I pray that he transitions well to kindergarten- wherever that may be.
I was sad about how big he is, how old he is, the unsurety of what’s next and trying to process time going by so quickly. How can I have a child old enough for kindergarten? How have we been married for almost ten years? How do I have wrinkles around my eyes?
This morning my (one and only) baby went to an open house at what could be his school for the next six years. We got to see the entire school, have breakfast in the cafeteria and ride on a school bus. It was a big morning and my son loved it. He walked out of the school saying he can’t wait to go to school there. Who knows where he will attend kindergarten, but I’m thrilled knowing he loved this option and is excited about his future. Yes, I’m anxious, nervous and sentimental but I’m going to keep him focusing on excitement and not let my hesitant emotions get in his way!
And yes, I realize I am not the first parent to send a child to a new school. Knowing this helps- some. But it’s still the emotions that I am working through.
So, to all the parents who are sending their hearts out into an unknown world this fall, know that I am with you in solidarity. We will get through this. Also, I have heard that wine helps.