My mind is full of thoughts these days. They mostly revolve around Kindergarten. Am I ready?
I hear this question a lot lately, “Is L ready for Kindergarten?”
He is a June birthday, a boy, and the trend (at least where we live) is to give the gift of another year. Honestly, I always hesitate to answer this question.
The real questions is, “Am I ready for Kindergarten?”
When I start to think about all the social dynamics that he is about to embark on, how his little mind must fire on all cylinders, picking up subtle facial expressions or voice tones to avoid a social catastrophe (I doubt this is true in Kindergarten but this is immediately where my mind goes when I think of sending him off). My heart starts beating a mile a minute and I want to scoop him up and help be his eyes and ears.
Partly this is due to my own tormented middle school mind and there is also that proud mama voice internally wishing my son to do his best in any situation. These thoughts are almost debilitating at times. Hence, my hesitation.
As a parent, we marvel in all the firsts. But, those firsts start with many struggles…thinking about watching L struggle to lift his head when he was just months old is difficult for me. Remembering all the falls, bruises, grunts and determination to walk proficiently makes my heart ache. Seeing him mentally struggle for the words he wants to say so he can really communicate all that is in his head, I just want to shout out the word he is searching for so he can relax.
In most of these cases I don’t do it for him. I give him support and help when he asks but otherwise I am just smiling, encouraging and waiting for all his practice at a new skill to pay off.
I feel this inner struggle with Kindergarten too.
The first day of school will be the easy part. The struggle will come with finding our new routine, giving him space and connection to unleash the stress from his day. To watch him realize that he is growing up, not able to enjoy each day as he sees fit. Seeing him feeling out social boundaries.
All of these things will be new for me too. Testing out different ways to effectively keep our family in balance, sharing his disappointment with all the changes (growing up has always been overwhelming for him), finding enough time in the day to connect, reflect, eat and play. It will be a challenge indeed.
Maybe most people don’t weigh this stage of life as heavily as I am feeling it. Kids go to school, they figure it out, parents figure it out, it just all works itself out.
I don’t do so well with the “everyone does it” so it will just happen and you will get through it.
I would rather have a supply list, an idea of how the flow of a day in the classroom is, a brief introduction of the kids in his class, know his teachers name now instead of two days before school starts…anything to help in preparing him for this next stage in his life that he can grab hold of and know.
He always feels more comfortable when he knows how to anticipate his day, especially full, complex days. Don’t we all?
So my hesitation is in many ways just because I am not totally sure what I am doing! How I can prepare him for this huge change in his routine, expectations and management of his time.
He is going to do great. He loves to learn, is curious, asks questions, a great helper, a hard worker and I can’t wait to see what sparks his interest in school.
I just have to let go and feel the new wave of change. He is ready I know he is.
So, with some deep breaths, a heavy heart and a smile I will encourage, support and enjoy this next phase of raising my boys. Otherwise, I will miss it entirely.