12 Jan
2015
Posted in: parenting
By    1 Comment

Enrolling the Baby in Kindergarten

I stared at the words “please click here to enroll a new student,” and the blinking cursor taunted me.  A mental roadblock stopped me from clicking. It’s not happening today. I’ll get around to enrolling our youngest in kindergarten, but for today, I’ll allow myself to forget how fast our baby has grown.

I enrolled our oldest son seven years ago in the public school system. I was just as emotional then but in a different way. Our local school district is labeled school of choice. Each January parents pick their three top choices for schools for students entering kindergarten, middle school and junior high. You submit your choices electronically, wait months and hope/pray for the best. Our oldest son was placed in our first choice school which meant his three siblings would also attend the same school. It was stressful waiting to find out if he got in, but thankfully that stress wasn’t a factor for the other three. I knew where the boys would end up and where our daughter will attend next year. Knowing where they would be didn’t make enrolling them any easier for me.

5 yeard old girl practicing cheers

I struggle with moving on and letting go. I’m the person who cries on the last day of vacation because I don’t want it to end. I write letters to my children on each of their birthdays as a snapshot of who they are right at that moment. I still get excited every time we see a train or fire truck, even though the kids are no longer enthralled by them. I love, for the most part, the noise and chaos that a house full of four kids provides. I miss them when they’re at school. I have the option of home schooling, but honestly, I just want them with me. I’m not sure how committed I would be to the teaching process.

With our oldest, public school was nothing but a void of the unknown. We didn’t know anyone, student or staff, at our first choice school. I hated not knowing what to expect. It took years for me to really feel comfortable at school. Now it’s familiar and second-nature for all of us.

one month old smiling baby girl

Enrolling our youngest for school is full of emotions that weren’t filling my heart with the boys.  I’m sad I already have to close the door on her days at home with me. My arms ache to rock babies to sleep, watch first steps and hear first words again. I enjoy watching them grow and change, but I miss those phases we’ve passed through. I have days I look at our children and wonder if I dreamed all those baby years. I feel so removed from those moments. I was worried for our oldest when he went to kindergarten. Our youngest has grown up around elementary school. There are far less unknowns with her. Selfishly, I’m worried about me.

Next school year will be the first in 13 years where I won’t have one or more children spending their days with me. It marks a big life shift for me. I’ve been preparing for the last year for this to happen. I started working part-time from home, mostly at night or during preschool hours, but I still feel sideswiped by the coming changes. As much as our daughter is ready for kindergarten and the next chapter, I’m just not there.

We’ve had our share of problems and issues with the boys over the years at school. Those problems, and more importantly the ability to overcome them, make me feel more prepared for what lies ahead for our daughter. We’ve also watched our boys grow in ways I’m excited for our daughter to experience. The unknown is me. I don’t remember what it’s like to not play the role of caregiver during the day. It’s the letting go and the moving on. It gets me every single time. Today I’m grateful I have time to enroll our daughter and force my way through that emotional roadblock of sadness and uncertainty.

 

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1 Comment

  • So many sad feelings for you. But she’s going to be amazing!

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