When my daughter went off to kindergarten, I was so excited for her. She was definitely ready to meet new friends, learn new things, and expand her horizons. I remember feeling slightly melancholic about the milestone, but being mostly concerned that some other kid would crush her amazing, sensitive little spirit. I was home with a baby at the time, so maybe I took it well because I had a distraction? I felt like I just knew she was ready.
Now my son is off to kindergarten and I spend every day with a lump in my throat, trying not to think about it much. He’s only three, how can he be going to school all day, every day?
He forgets to pee, how will he remember at school?
He doesn’t care if he eats, who will make sure he’s nourished?
He throws temper tantrums, will he be negatively labeled?
He’s allergic to nuts, will he be safe?
Will someone threaten him with his allergens?
Will he cry when I’m not there, the way he did at preschool?
Is it smart to be sending him this year or should we have waited till next year?
He can’t identify all his letters or numbers, is that ok?
He can’t zip up his coat independently, or manage buttons.
He can’t wipe his own poopy bum.
Worry, worry, worry.
I know all the parents of older kids are shaking their heads thinking, “If those are the worst of your concerns, you’ve got nothing to worry about”, but that doesn’t make it any less heart-wrenching in this moment, you know?
I’m going to worry about the kids, and I’m going to think about them all day long, because that’s what I do.
I’m a stay/work-at-home mom who has spent the last seven years of her life managing the lives of my kids and my family. There is constant activity in our house; kids playing, kids needing something, kids bugging me while I work… all that good stuff. And now, come September my house will be silent.
Back to school time isn’t a time to rejoice, for me. I’m really going to miss my little buddies.