My first born starts school tomorrow. Kindergarten. He's never been to school before. No preschool or even daycare. We are definitely past due for school to start in this house. Last year, Jacob's fifth birthday was two days past the cut-off date for starting Kindergarten so we held him back. Although we didn't really have much of a choice, I think it has turned out to be a good thing.
As a working mom, I'm used to not being with my children all day. This is nothing new. It's not new for them and it's not new for me. So I'm not sure how I should be feeling about all this school stuff. Even though my life will go on as normal, things still feel DIFFERENT. I don't anticipate a big sob-fest after dropping him off tomorrow. Again, I'm used to being separated from him all day. But the fact that he is now a school-age child is certainly a sign of change and growth and the passing of time that would make any parent a little weepy and wistful.
Our last hurrah of the summer: an evening at the park. Special appearance: rainbow sherbert kids' cones.
There are also a whole new set of worries. Worries that I didn't anticipate that just kind of crept up on me. What if he gets hungry before lunch? What if he doesn't eat all his lunch and gets hungry later? What if he doesn't get on the right bus? How will he know what stop is his (afterschool care)? What if he can't sit still? What if HE feels sad?
Before bedtime tonight, I sat down with Jacob and carefully planned his lunch for tomorrow. I wanted him to be involved in the decision making so he would be more likely to eat whatever is packed. It feels odd to pack a school lunch. Am I really old enough to have kids who are old enough to be in elementary school? How can my first born already be embarking on this adventure into independence. Will he need me less and be less dependent on me?
Jacob is beyond excited. He has been excited for some time. I don't sense any hesitation or worry or sadness or anxiety within him. All I sense is excitement. This makes it so much easier for me to be excited for him. And so much easier for me to drop him off at school with the assurance that he will be just fine. And I'm sure I will be just fine too, despite the mess and mix of emotions that I'm still trying to sort out.