Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Move Ahead to K

Camp before the 2's! Still
buddies with those two today!
E starts kindergarten tomorrow. I've seen a million posts, blogs, and statuses about the sentimentality of this milestone from other moms. I haven't read the blogs or the articles. Both B and I are feeling pretty unsentimental about it. I don't know if we're missing something or what, but we're not teary and sad about it.

Is kindergarten even a big milestone anymore? Many of the moms and dads I know both work. As do B and I. For those that always worked full time, these kids have been in some form of daycare or school since like six weeks since birth. I didn't work for the first two years of E's life but he was signed up by one and a half, to go to school when he was two. I was excited for him to get to experience that too.

First day of the 2's class
We got up that first morning, we took pictures, we hugged. But we didn't cry and we didn't particularly think of it as a special milestone. For me, it was like my first taste of freedom in two years. All I could think about was what I could fit into the few hours I had to myself. I was never worried about him. He's *my* kid. He's been like the mayor since he came into the world. If there is ever a foxhole you're stuck in, hope that E is in there with you. He'll be able to navigate that situation- no problem.

I hadn't thought it out well when I signed him up. He still seemed so little. I only signed him up for three days, from 9a-11:30. Once school started, I wanted to slap myself. He could've totally handled five days. He NEEDED five days- my little Energizer Bunny. And 11:30? What IS that? Within a week, I had him at 12:30, and a week after that it was 1p. I asked if he could do the other two days too but they were closed out. What a pain. Shame on me. He LOVED school. Then I went back to work that January and had to extend him until 4p. Was this transition difficult for him? Nope. He was fine. I was fine. We were all fine. I wasn't sentimental about it then either. I was excited. Excited for him to grow, learn and thrive and excited for me to go to work, have adult conversation, and do something I love.

Starting the 3's
He's gone through the 2's, the 3's, and the 4's. When it was time to sign up for the 3's, we went right to five days without question. Again, until 4p most days. Same when he got to the 4's. So he's been in school, pretty much full time, for what feels like forever. So kindergarten is starting. I got his backpack mid-summer, had his school supplies shipped to me from Amazon, and I've been amassing clothes for who knows how long. I even thought about purchasing one of those Etsy-type chalkboard things with the whole "First Day of K" thing. Luckily, I snapped into reality when I got a price of $30 for a decorated chalkboard and just make something a little sub-par but still cute, myself. Anyone that knows me will be shocked I even did that. I really DID!

But neither B, nor I, are sad that he's going to kindergarten. We don't feel time is going too fast- well, except summer for me. I savored every second of Summer of Tara. E is growing up and sure, time can go fast, but it's a good thing. A positive thing. And I only have one kid, will always have one kid, so this is the only time I will experience this. We're happy to see him grow, get bigger, learn cooler stuff, become a real little person with incredible comedic and sarcastic timing. He'll make new friends, get used to a new teacher, and probably get into some mischievous trouble, if the bathroom incident in nursery school, with his friend, was any kind of prediction for the future. I've been throwing him into purposely socially uncomfortable situations for as long as I can remember, so he can learn to roll with whatever comes. And he DOES.

Starting the 4's
People keep asking him and us if we're "excited" for kindergarten. I really can't answer. I don't think he even realizes it's going to be any different than what he's been doing all this time. He knows he's going to a new place- he's been waiting to go there since he's known it's going to be his school *eventually*. Beyond that, the word "kindergarten" doesn't really mean anything special to him. Or us, I guess.
E can roll with pretty much anything. He's moldable, amenable, friendly, and funny. He loves people, he'll play with anyone, and he is so "fair" and balanced, we call him "Even Steven" at home as a goof. So we'll all roll with kindergarten tomorrow. With smiles, hugs, and no trace of tears.

Then, because my town is 1950's Mayberry, I'll be dropping him off, maybe getting in a Starbucks run, and turning around to get him because he has a "quarter day". Half-day K, district-wide half day, means a quarter day for the K's. Awesome. I definitely can't get sentimental about that. Luckily he has "K enrichment" five days a week to make up what anyone else would be getting in full day K.

Happy first K day to E and all E's kindergarten compatriots. Good luck, no tears, new friends, great times to all! Happy first K day to all the parents needing to get back into routine and have more than five minutes to yourselves. Finally, good luck and good year to all my teacher friends out there starting a fresh, brand new school year!! I've got your back.

First Day of K!
Preschool grad!

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