My son will start kindergarten within the week. Like so many parents at the threshold of formal schooling for their child: I’m not ready. For so many trivial reasons.
Selfish reasons like not wanting a crazier schedule.
Historical, tired reasons like not wanting to deal with monitoring and helping with nightly homework.
Yet, the primary reason that I can’t shake this dread of kindergarten is that it strikes me as the beginning of the end. From now until he graduates from high school, his weekdays will be filled with school. His evenings will be filled with school-related activities. The days that I can spend with him having special mommy-son time will be limited or greatly changed. I’ll miss:
…staying in our pajamas until noon (or sometimes all day).
…snuggling and reading books together.
…taking over the dining room table to spread out a jigsaw puzzle.
…taking a leisurely walk together and stopping to look at insects, the status of the vegetable garden or what has changed at the river.
…playing music and watching him make whatever manner of art the music inspires him to make.
…having long conversations about anything and everything that is on his active, questioning mind.
My time with him will be limited to evenings and weekends. Will it feel like having a tiny roommate who has a life of his own? How will I keep track of all of the people and places that he sees without me? Has he learned to listen to his “smart voice” enough to keep himself out of serious trouble? How will he handle peer pressure in his new surroundings? I mourn the loss of our pajama days filled with books and insects and puzzles and hope that what lies ahead are just changes as part of our ever-evolving story and not endings.
More important than whether or not I am ready, I know that HE is ready and that’s all that matters. I’ll just have to catch up…