You know what I saw on television last night? A back-to-school add. And when I went to the convenience store this afternoon, I saw an entire wall of back-to-school items just ready to be ransacked by desperate parents everywhere. In the mail yesterday, I got a catalogue specifically for back-to-school items that to be honest… I can’t even look at yet (insert shiver sound here.)
Some parents jump for joy at the end of their child’s summer vacation, but as of right now, I am not one of those parents. I am the parent who is cringing at the thought if her only child going off to kindergarten. I am the parent who sits in front of other parents in meetings convincing them that their child is ready for the next step, but inside… I’m right along side them.
It’s a scary feeling.
Not too long ago, I was chatting with another mother and I asked her what it was like for her baby (the last of three children) to go off to Kindergarten? She said that it was like her daughter has been doing this for years, and that her daughter was ready long before she was.
I guess that makes sense.
In my experience, children just want to grow up and be as independent as possible. But as parents, we worry. We worry about how they will conduct themselves outside of the home. Will they verbally defend themselves if necessary? Will they know where to go or who to ask for help when they need it? And the mere thought of the possibility that they will actually make a life for themselves outside of home… well, that just throws me for a loop right there. But in retrospect, I hope all if that happens, because we’ve prepared them for it.
I feel like we spend the first few years of our children’s lives just teaching them manners, social cues, right from wrong, and independence, so when they go out into the real world of (school), they feel prepared. But what about us? Who prepares us for our children to become so grown up, so fast?
Nobody, I don’t think.
I truly believe that once my son gets his new routine in kindergarten down, and once he establishes a relationship with his teachers, peers, and therapists, I think that he’ll be okay. Maybe he is more ready to begin this new chapter of his life then I think he is? Maybe I don’t need to cringe at the thought of him growing up so quickly? I just want to see him succeed, just like any other parent would.
Maybe we’re going to be okay after all, and the fact that back-to-school “stuff” isn’t as scary as I make it out to be? It’s just part of moving on and growing up. Right?