Today my five year old son and I will go to a kindergarten readiness meeting. They will ask him some questions about shapes, letters, and colors and then we’ll be on our way. But, I’m a little upset that they aren’t going to ask me any questions… to find out if I’m ready.
I know that my son will have a loving counselor to give him extra support if he needs help in the transition. But, who’s offering me free counseling? What about all the moms who are having a difficult time with the adjustment? Which office do we report to during third period?
Sure, I spent the entire month of July chasing down the best deal on khaki pants and collared shirts. I purchased all 15 of the required jumbo glue sticks and made a special trip to a store I avoid just to find the “Prang” brand set of watercolors (hopefully someone will explain to me why brand matters). New backpack. Check. New lunchbox. Check. (His old Cars themed ones were not cool enough for the big K.) We’ve got all the stuff. I just don’t think I’m ready for him to use it.
I guess you could say I have it easy now. I haven’t had to set an alarm clock in five years. (Though having a baby every 18 months does provide some accountability as far as wake up time goes). Now, I’ve gotta have him fed, dressed, teeth-brushed, lunch-packed, backpack-loaded at the school by, EEEGADS, 7:30am!?! Yes, this is going to kill my lazy mom morning routine. Big time.
Then there’s the fact that, though it’s trite (and I posted about it last year in this post called They Do Grow Up So Fast,) they really, really, truly, truly, do. Just five years. Yes there were days, weeks, and months that seemed to last a lifetime (potty training and teething for example.) But, it also feels like it was just yesterday that I was the only one who understood his language. I knew that “bop” meant applesauce and “boove” meant a movie…and for the most part, that got us through.
Now, his vocabulary is excellent, though he still gets confused sometimes. For example, at the playground the other day he told another mom he was getting ready to start college now that he had finished preschool. She seemed surprised and asked him if he’d be heading to Austin or College Station.
He replied that, no, his school was right in his neighborhood.
This kind of confidence about the year ahead is somewhat of a solace to me. He’s not nervous at all about kindergarten and, when I told him last night before bed that I’m going to miss him when he’s gone all day, he responded with, “Yeah, you will mom.”
I had to leave the room before my eyes started leaking.
I’ve only got ten days left to emotionally prepare for D-Day. I’m trying to do the silly mom “savor every moment” thing. Figuring out fun and special things to do as if it’s our last time together as a family (while conveniently blocking out that he still has off summers, holidays, Saturdays and Sundays). Maybe I’m confusing him going to college versus kindergarten, too?
More so, I think I know it’ll never be the same again. We are done with stage one of parenting. We’ve made it through the first five years, the physical-labor-intensive part of raising a child. Now, we enter stage two…when the tears at night aren’t from a wet diaper but from a hurt inflicted by a so-called friend or when the fear isn’t of imaginary monsters but of failure.
He’s the one going to school, but I think my husband and I are the ones who will have the most learning to do. He is our great parenting experiment after all. (You make your mistakes, learn, and grow more as you parent the first born than you do any of the others. Of this I am convinced.) So, as he starts his academic career we’re starting our own new set of lessons. And, I’m hopeful that we’ll make good grades, too.
Have you been there? How did you handle the big day your first started school?