by Micaela Williamson
Not too long ago, I met a “varsity mom” friend at a local playground. I mentioned that my oldest will be starting kindergarten in the fall. She said, “Oh, you must be so excited! The day my daughter started kindergarten, I was waving at the school bus filled with joy.”
My face turned sour. No, not me. I’m far from excited. I have probably complained to every single one of my friends and family members that I am dreading kindergarten. The school day seems too long. My son will be gone until nearly 4 o’clock. It makes me sad that it is necessary for these little ones to go to school all day, and even though my son with a November birthday will be one of the older ones, I still don’t like it. But, we live in a good school system with a great elementary school, and I know this is the next step.
As a former teacher, my hopes for my son are strangely not academic. I don’t care if he is the best reader in the class (in fact, I already know that he won’t be,) or ends up in a “gifted” program. I just want him to be kind. I want him to treat others with respect, and not to brag. (And this kid loves to brag and prove others wrong! He is what my friend Wired Momma would call a dream crusher.) I want him to work hard (but not too hard,) love learning, and make friends. I want him to go to school everyday with a smile on his face. I want his teachers to like him and him to like them. I want his school to be an interactive, happy place where all the children feel safe and loved.
We have no family in the area and rarely ever use a sitter. My local family is my friends, and five of my closest friends have rising kindergartners. Even though we all live within ten minutes of each other, we live in Northern Virginia, which means the five of us are going to five different elementary schools. I am sure this adds to my anxiety. I really know no one at my son’s new school. Perhaps my biggest fear isn’t will he make friends, but will I make friends?
There’s no getting around the fact that kindergarten is going to happen. I will do my best not to cry, but no promises can be made. We live walking distance from the school, but if there was a school bus involved, you better believe I would be one of those crazy mothers following the behind in my car.
When a baby is born, everyone says, “It goes so fast.” Well the truth is, babyhood doesn’t, but now I feel life moving at rapid speed. Kindergarten tomorrow and college the next day. The funny thing is, I have a double standard. My youngest will be starting preschool, and I couldn’t be happier. I won’t even blink an eye if he cries. I will just smile and wave! Yes, I love both of my children the same, but preschool is not the unknown. I have been there, done that, and love it. Kindergarten, that’s serious stuff in my book. Hopefully I will get through the dreaded first day and claim my place in the “Varsity Mom Hall of Fame.”
Are any other parents out there scared of the big K? Any “varsity parents” want to share “first day of kindergarten stories” or their experiences? Feel free to comment below.