Thursday, August 23, 2012

thoughts on having a kindergartner

We are on week two of kindergarten and school is still on a shortened schedule for the three kindergarten classes at the International school where Addie is attending.  Meaning, she gets off at 1PM instead of the 2:50PM that will begin next week.  These first two weeks are meant to ease the kindergartners into the longer schedule.  Lord help me when the days are even longer than they are right now.  As it is, Addie is on the school bus at 7AM and not back home until 1:45PM.  Next week I won't see her until 4PM.  That's an eight hour day at school for my five year old.

Addie's adjusting well, loving her teacher and making new friends.  She's happy to get on the bus in the morning. She's still smiling when she comes through the front door in the afternoon.  I helper her get situated at the table for her snack and I sit down with her and we talk about her day.  She tells me about so-and-so and lunch time.  Play time outside. The girls getting chased and tackled by the boys (already?!)  Learning to sound out the "th" letter combination.  Creating cut out pictures of herself. Experiencing new situations with friends.  There are too many boys in her classroom, she says.  She learned the word "boyfriend" from another kid at school (already?!). Life is happening for my little girl at school. It all sounds very interesting and I love hearing her tell the tales. I  knew she'd do well, she's a very mature and responsible little girls but it's fun hearing the bits and pieces at the end of the day.  She's even good about passing on messages from Ms. Vicki. I'm getting flyers and notices about parent night, back to school supply requests, prepaid hot lunch cards...soon I'll be signing permission slips.

She starts to melt down about 4PM.  She's tired and voraciously hungry.  She bursts into tears about silly things and acts even more dramatic about situations with friends or her sisters. Her baby sister loves Bella more than her now.  Bella won't share! It's all my fault!  I don't feel happy about myself! Drama queen tendencies have clicked up a few notches for sure. She's passed out cold for the night at 6:30PM, even earlier sometimes.

Kindergarten is new for me too and I'm surprised at the feelings I am having.  I didn't realize how long she'd be gone from the house every day.  I'm mostly shocked at the realization that she's spending more time with her teacher, other grown ups and her peers than she is with her mother.  I'm filled with a strange mixture of pride, relief and sadness about having my first born off at school now.  She's learning to read and socially engaging in situations that will help her grow. A love for school and learning is hopefully blossoming from her experiences at kindergarten. It's all good stuff but putting my daughter in the hands of others for eight hours every day has me feeling a little left out.

I know it's normal to feel this way.  I know I'm not the first mother to have these revelations about kindergarten but I'm still navigating this new life my daughter is having.  I'm trying to sort it all out.  Now, I feel guilty for mentally rolling my eyes when other mothers (with older children in school) would say things about not wanting to put their youngest in preschool yet because they still want them at home with them during the day. When they hit kindergarten; off they go.  I guess I get it now.  Maybe I'll be slower to enroll Ashlynn in preschool because of this revelation.  I guess time will tell.

It's hitting me how very important it is to have my child in the very best school with the very best teachers.  She's with these people all day long.  The influence they have on her is vast and I have an urge to somehow ensure the greatness of her classroom and learning experience.  I guess it's the Mama Bear in me trying to give her the very best.

Part of me wants to go to her classroom after hours and hang pretty lanterns and fabric garland around the room and deliver soft colorful pillows for the library.  It's silly and yet I can't help but imagine transforming the classroom into a beautiful oasis for my daughter to be immersed in at school.

I guess this is where people will tell me it's time to let go...maybe just a little bit.  

No comments: