Thursday, August 29, 2013
Jack starts kindergarten
Jack is officially a kindergartner! And I think he likes it. When I picked him up today, he started telling me about his day before I had a chance to ask him.
Here are a few of the details so we don't forget:
He was very excited to use his scissors to make a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom hat. He met a new friend named Sophia. He bumped his head while playing with her, and she suggested he ask to get ice cream after school to make it better (we did). He met Sister Liz. Ms. Mary, Cathal, Kilian, and Ronan all said hi to him this morning in the cafeteria. The class said prayers, but he didn't know them and didn't want to repeat the words. He had a hard time figuring out who his friend Charlie is since all of the boys wear the same clothes.
I think that's it. There might have been more. He's been telling me little bits and pieces all afternoon. I couldn't have dreamed of a better reaction to his first day of school.
I'll be honest. I was a little worried, on many levels, about how today would go. Would he enjoy school or hate it? Would I be a blubbering fool walking him to the door? Would he be too nervous to go in, or worse, cry? The fog that hung over our area this morning was a little too symbolic for me.
But the fog lifted as we drove to school, a good sign for the rest of the day. First worry, not an issue. Definitely liked school. Blubbering fool? Nope. I did get a little choked up in the car on the way, but no tears. This was in part because of the way he reacted to going to school. He didn't want me to walk him all the way in. He wanted to walk in by himself. So Reid and I walked him to the edge of the sidewalk that led to the cafeteria and then he was off. It happened so fast, I didn't get a chance to snap a picture!
In the grand scheme of things, this day probably won't mean much to Jack. I certainly don't remember my first day of kindergarten. The day has a much bigger significance to Steve and me. It's a symbol of Jack's growing independence. We know what lies in ahead for Jack - 13 years of school, then hopefully college. He has started outgrowing us, and that's a little scary and exciting at the same time.
When Jack was born, Steve and I used to talk about what kind of person we hoped Jack would be. We hoped he would be adventurous, enthusiastic, and independent. And it's been fun to watch him develop into that adventurous, enthusiastic, independent boy (even though we questioned our wishes during his toddler years).
But the fact is we can no longer feed his curiosity as quickly as he would like. I no longer have the energy to keep him engaged all day every day. He needs his peers and his teachers to push him forward.
This is not to say that we have nothing left to offer as parents. That would just be silly. I still plan to teach him how to tie his shoes and how to cook and bake. Steve has many more Star Wars and other general manly things to teach him. We will still explore the world together. But the separation has started.
I can see why some parents become helicopter parents. At this point, we could definitely hold on tight and keep close tabs on what's going on. There are lots of opportunities for us to volunteer and be a part of school. I even asked Jack how much he would like me to help out at school; and he said a lot. But I'm pretty proud of these characteristics Jack is developing and who he is becoming. I don't want to ruin it. So while I'm excited to volunteer and see him at school (and I will be doing these things!), I know I'm going to have to work hard to keep my distance and let this be Jack's experience. We are so excited to see what he does with it.
Posted by Karen Barrett at 8:34 PM