I sniffled and surreptiously wiped away tears last night,not for the first time that day. "Are you crying?" my husband asked. I shook my head no, determined not to let him know that Toy Story 3 had again reminded me of sending Captain Destructo to kindergarten.
Have you seen Toy Story 3 yet? If not I'll summarize it for you. Stupid Andy grows up and leaves his sweet, beloved mother behind while he goes off to college (it's possible that other things happen involving the toys but that was my takeaway). At the end of the movie, Andy and his mom walk into his empty room and look around. "Oh, Andy," his mom says, crying "I just wish I could be with you all the time."
That line pretty much sums up my feelings on the upcoming school year, when Captain Destructo will officially not be with me all the time and will go to kindergarten. The state of Texas hates mothers and so insists that 5 year olds attend full day kindergarten. I have tried everything I can think of to avoid this. Just this past week, I was determined to homeschool her to avoid sending her away. I have considered keeping her home an extra year. I have hoped that we would move to another state that allows part time kindergarten. If there was a way to avoid this that didn't involve wrapping her in 5 year old size Baby Bjorn and carrying her with me everywhere I go I have researched it.
In case you wondered, yes, I do realize I am being overly dramatic about kindergarten. Friends, I was a public school teacher. I used to laugh at parents like me, back when I was a cocky 23 year old with no children of my own. As a teacher, I saw how happy the students were in school and how much fun they had. In my 4 years of teaching, I think maybe once or twice did a kid cry that they missed their moms. Yet I still can't wrap my brain around MY daughter being in school 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. My list of fears includes, but is not limited to, the following:
-what if someone is mean to her?
-what if she gets lost trying to find her classroom?
-what if she can't get her yogurt open at lunch and no one helps her?
-what if she is sad or sick and misses me and I'm not there to make her feel better?
And then there are other, bigger fears too big to be named that I'm sure every other parent has had to think of, given recent events in schools in our country.
I'm trying to focus on positives, such as spending more one on one time with New Baby (who is actually 3 and not a baby). It's occurring to me that she may need some attention. She may or may not be still potty training. And it's possible that she needs to work on some skills that I mastered with Captain Destructo....New Baby counted yesterday and it went like this: "1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1." Oops. And as my husband pointed out while staring at disgust at the dust accumulated on the fan blades, I'll "have more time to clean next year."
So help me. Have you sent your kids to kindergarten? Were they ok? Were you ok? How did everyone cope?