The other night I opened a letter from the school where my daughter will attend kindergarten in the fall. It had information about upcoming orientation meetings, as well as a list of supplies she needs to have for Day 1:
- Color pencils/markers
- Plastic pencil box
- 1 B/W cover Composition Book
- Box of 12 glue sticks and 4 oz glue bottles
And the list goes on. I felt like I was going to puke. How is it possible that my child is old enough for this? Where did the time go? And why the hell do they need so much glue??
I have so much anxiety about this kindergarten transition. If I’m being honest I think it’s part of the reason I haven’t been able to blog or finish any other task lately (remember when I said I’d write 5 posts in the past week? Such a failure.). I have been in the throes of the school enrollment process for months now, and I’m struggling to find peace with the fact that my daughter will attend a school that was not my first choice. But deep down I think I’m also just struggling to find peace with the fact that she’s going anywhere at all.
A big part of me is truly excited for my daughter. I know she is ready for something bigger than preschool, and I can imagine she will thrive in a new setting, with more academic challenges, more structure, and diverse social interactions.
But then there’s part of me that is fearing the worst. Will she fit in? Will she make friends? Will she scowl at everyone because she’s in a mood or uncomfortable and be mistaken for a bully? Or will she get bullied? Will she become friends with kids who teach her terrible things that I cannot undo?
Generally I’m a *relatively* laid back parent. I tend to go with my gut and don’t spend a ton of time researching parenting strategies and techniques. Call me old-fashioned (or uninformed and clueless).
But in the past week I’ve purchased four parenting books. FOUR. It’s like I suddenly feel a need to implement new parenting practices, fix all of my daughter’s behavior issues, equip her with the skills to avoid any and all real world dangers, and ensure a seamless transition for all of us.
I’ll also go ahead and solve the hunger crisis while I’m at it.
I know I need to chill the eff out. In part because I don’t want my daughter to sense my nervousness and start to freak out too. I am trying. Really. I have moments of clarity when I am calm, optimistic and ready for this new phase.
But then I drive past the school and start crying like a baby. Or I watch the news and hear another school-related disaster story, and start crying like a baby. Did it always seem so harrowing to send your kid off to school?!
I need to get my head into a place of acceptance and optimism, and stop letting my emotions get the best of me. Note to self: this was probably not the best time to start a new hormone-infused birth control pill. So. Much. Ugly. Crying.
So here’s to moving forward, clearing my head, getting some stuff done, enjoying the summer with my kids, and figuring out a way to freeze time so they will stop growing up and stay like this FOREVERANDEVERANDEVER.
Ok fine, FINE. I’ll let go of the last one. Sheesh.
Did you cry when she learned to sit up? When she learned to walk? When she said her first word? Or were you happy and excited for her? Just think of kindergarten as another developmental milestone.
Notice that she only needs a 4 oz. bottle of the messy glue product and a gross of the crappy but convenient glue product? Mhm.
Thank you – that’s exactly the logic I needed. I am genuinely happy and excited for her. As long as that glue stays at school.
I’m a big talker, but let’s see how I do when I take my baby boy to college in August and leave him there!
I was wondering about the glue too!
My boy is still in preschool, and before he went, I had knots in my stomach. The moment he started though, I knew it was the right thing for him.
I’m not sure I’ll be as cool about kindergarten though. Sigh. This children-growing-up business is so hard on our hearts!
She is also supposed to bring a box of kleenex to school. Needless to say I am planning to buy an extra one for me and my sobbing. They will be happy tears, I tell myself (not convinced).
I’m serious…my 7th grader is still asked to bring glue…GLUE!!! WTH??
Here’s how this will go. You are going to be a nervous wreck grappling with these questions from her on out. It will be worse every summer as you contemplate the next year, but it will be present at a low level throughout the school year as well. She, however will be fantastic. She will love it and thrive.
And when she does, you will find a whole different series of school things to worry about.
Before you know it you will be worrying because she’ll be driving in a year and maybe her friends are doing drugs …repeat, repeat, until every hair on your head is gray. The end. At least that’s how it seems to be working for me. Even for my “easy” child.
Motherhood is not for sissies. Thank God for Clairol.
Uuugh that’s pretty much what I figured. True to your name, I appreciate the dose of reality. Investing in hair color asap.