It's Real.

2:00 PM

I signed Cameryn up for Kindergarten.  My fingers typed as quickly as possible to fill in all of the required information and to submit the information as soon as the link went live.


Why?


Because yesterday, at 4pm, I became that Mom.  You know the one that you roll your eyes at when she starts talking about her kid and how smart they are and one day they're going to rule the world!  Yeah.  That was me yesterday.  Our school district offers a Language Immersion Program beginning in Kindergarten.  40 children will spend half of their day (math and science) in a foreign language and the other half of their day in a normal, English speaking classroom.  Here's the kicker - only 10 of those 40 kids are from "outside" of the school zone, meaning that if you're not zoned for that school, it's a lottery situation and if you want your kid in the program you better hope and pray that you make it in one of those 10 slots. 


I'm hoping and praying.  And sobbing in the corner with a bottle of wine.


I know Cameryn will be bored out of her mind if she is enrolled in regular Kindergarten.  But yes, I also realize that it's only Kindergarten and at this age play is still very important and kids should be spending a lot of their day in imaginative play.  Blah blah blah.  My kid will be bored if she's forced to learn how to count to 100 or tie her shoes.  She needs a challenge and the Immersion Program provides that.


Oh yes, that bottle of wine that I drank while sobbing in the corner?  How in the hell is Cameryn old enough to go to Kindergarten?  Babies don't keep (Thank you, Baby Jesus - because getting up every few hours sucks!) and I'm not a fan of 3.5 year olds either, but the age that my kids are at right now?  I'd like to box them up and keep this this way forever.  They're sweet and funny and lovable.  They are still inquisitive and believe that Mom and Dad know everything.  We're still their heroes and we can still control as much of their life as possible, who they come into contact with, the places they go and people they meet.  Sending Cameryn to Kindergarten with a backpack as big a she is feels like I am letting her go into the real world (as real as it can get for a 5 year old) and knowing that I will never get that part of her back.  She'll change.  Grow independent, learn things that I don't want her to know, talk to kids (and parents!) that I wouldn't normally allow her to be around. 


I have to trust her.  I have to trust that she'll know right from wrong.  I have to trust that she'll know when to reach out for help for her or for someone else.  I have to trust that I did my job as her parent and that she will remain an innocent, loving little girl and not turn into some monster because she's influenced by kids that don't have the same love in her life that she does.  I have to trust that her teacher will love her for who she is and treat her with respect.  I have to believe that she will make friends, good friends, and that she will be a good friend right back.
The fear is real. 
The struggle to let her go, to grow up, and walk away from me, it's real.
And there is no other way to describe it, it sucks.
Bad.


It's silly, right?  This whole notion that my 5 year old is going into the real world and will grow up before my eyes.  But it's true, isn't it?  That this is just the first step to her becoming a tiny adult.  Kindergarten or college, she will have responsibilities imposed on her by someone else.  Homework.  Learning. Friendship. Basic social survival skills.  Situations that I cannot control. 




Oh, but I get to sign her up all over again next week and this time for the school that we're zoned for.  I get to go through this range of emotions again.  Putting her name into that little box, checking all of the required information, because yes, she's ready.


She's ready to go to Kindergarten.  I'm not.  Luckily, her backpack is bigger than she is.  Which means that I could crawl in there and no one would notice.  Right?  Because that wouldn't be weird.  At all.

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