Monday, August 17, 2015

Dear First Time Kindergarten Mom...I hear you.

Dear First Time Kindergarten Mom,

Hi. I'm Candace. I'm a first timer, too. I feel like this is an AA meeting and we should introduce ourselves and hash out our stories.

My oldest started kindergarten last Wednesday at a school that he had to test into. Let that sink in...your five year old is TESTING to get into a school. Completely nerve wracking for me and terrifying for him. One spot out of 60 with over 250 applicants. He almost cried then when they walked him into the room by himself to do the test.

And, I almost did then, too. A solid hour passed and then he was back by my side. Smiling, chatty, and happy. Seeing that totally solidified that we had made the right decision.

Fast forward two months,

It is the first day of kindergarten. I get to walk him in to school and to his classroom. As I get ready to leave him on his first day, I could see the tears welling up in his eyes and could feel the all too familiar sting in mine. I don't know how I held it together until I got to the car, because he was loudly sobbing as I walked out the door. I got to the car and the floodgates opened up. I was filled with questions and concerns.

The questions:
Had I let him become too attached to me?

Did we socialize him enough?

Will he make friends easily?

Did we read enough this summer?

Did I teach him all that I could?

What if he's scared?

What if he's bullied?

Who will stand up for him?

What if he cries everyday because he misses me?

What if I cry everyday because I miss him?

Will he miss his brother, too?

The concerns:
I hope he does all that his teacher asks of him.

I hope he doesn't freak out if the structure changes suddenly.

I really hope no one picks on him. He's already sensitive.

I really hope that if someone does pick on him, he'll tell me and his teacher.

I really hope that he doesn't pick on anyone else.

I hope he remembers where I put his snack in his backpack.

I hope he eats enough.

I hope he learns a lot.

I really, really hope he loves it.

I could go on. Seriously...

He's my first child! My heart walking around beating outside of my chest...

That first day was hell.

I missed him so much. He missed me. He had a terrible first day. He cried the entire day. THE ENTIRE DAY. His teacher called to ask how she could calm him down. It broke my heart. Even moreso when I picked him up and he told me how he hated it and I said that tomorrow will be a better day and he looked me dead in the eye, filled with sadness, and said, "Probably not."

The second day was hard, too. He still didn't like it. He still cried throughout much of the day. But, he was able to tell me at least one that was the best about the day. So, it does get better if your child struggles those first few days/weeks. By the third day (even though he did run into a metal doorframe and end up going home early), he is enjoying it and I am, too.

He gets in the car everyday with something new to tell me. A new friend that he's made. A new skill that he has learned. A new song to sing. A new language to practice (Spanish)! It's all so exciting and scary and still oh so new. He is growing up right in front of my eyes with every passing day and new class. He is becoming more confident in himself, in his abilities. "All it took was a little push, Mom."he said when I asked him how he had grown so much in only a few short days.

And, just like that, even with him being so young, my son has become my teacher. He is teaching me how to cope, to learn, to discover again. He is teaching me to look through his beautiful blue eyes and see the world from a new perspective and inspiring me to grow.

All I can tell you, first timers, is enjoy the lesson. We'll blink and it will be over. <3

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