Yesterday our oldest started kindergarten. He has never gone to preschool, daycare or any place where he is left with strangers for six hours at a time. Needless to say the whole family was an emotional wreck. Our two year old was saddened by the fact that he was saying goodbye to brother, his oldest confidant and forever playmate. My kinder kid felt torn because while he enjoyed school he missed all of us. My husband and I also had a series of mixed emotions where we were happy that we had raised a child that could cope in the world on their own but then we also felt saddened that he didn’t run up to us excitedly when we picked him up. As though we would feel better if he had bombed and then we could pick up the pieces. No, alas he is growing up and fighting his own battles.
This morning however my five year old had no desire to go to school and teared up when we dropped him off and our hearts broke all over again. As I write this, after just returning from dropping him off, I wonder if we are doing the right thing. Is what I told him even true? Is it better to face our fears and try new things or is putting a five year old in an institution for six hours a day, five days a week an evil and hellish thing? I have long been an advocate of homeschool, but we recently moved and found ourselves located directly behind a school and after watching our five year old count and identify colors and learn his alphabet all at home while his social skills blossomed and his confidence soared I thought, perhaps he is now ready to join the masses. Now however I wonder if by sending him to school will inevitably undo all the good that five years at home has done? The teachers seem experienced and kind and the other kids appear to be just as terrified…this age old custom must have some sort of success to it, after all my husband and I are both products of public school.
This is what parenting is right? Questioning every choice you make? Doubting ever decision that you have struggled to finally reach? Endless pro and con lists and mommy forums at three in the morning? The solace I find is when I talk with my five year and I remember that I know him better than I know anyone else, and I know that he can accomplish anything, whether it’s kindergarten at home or at school I just need to be okay with letting him go.
Corrections: Due to not having internet, (CenturyLink that was a direct dig at you and shoudl be read as such) this blog went up later than I would have liked L