Friday, February 07, 2014

THE END OF AN ERA: KINDERGARTEN DRAWS EVER NEARER

You may or may not be able to derive from the title of this post the drama that I feel about the dawning of kindergarten that will occur this year.  I feel dramatic on the inside about it.  For as expressive as I am, I am not actually that dramatic.  I have a mostly even keeled demeanor, but thinking about kindergarten brings out all of the things that I don't like.

I don't like being the new person in a situation that does not know and understand everything.

I don't like having a schedule dictated to me by someone else.

I don't like the idea of not seeing Lily during much of the day, five days a week.

The reality is that I am nearing the end of an era - the era of having all of my children at home with me.  Of being the master of my family's schedule.  Of uninterrupted afternoon naps for the children that do choose to nap.  Of not having homework or PTA pressure or a school schedule.  Have you picked up that I am really not looking forward to the school schedule?

You may recall that I started bemoaning kindergarten at the beginning of this school year.  I largely freak out about major change before it happens, so that is playing out in full effect right now.  Yesterday, I drove just Lily to her school to register her.

Afterlight

I called before I went to make sure I had all the necessary paperwork and was heading to the right place.  I know it was on the website, but I just didn't want to screw it up somehow.  It was the first time that Lily has been to the school up close, though we drive past it all the time.  She was so excited about the two playgrounds.  I mean, that is the only comment she has really had on the school since we left it.

I filled out the paperwork while sitting in the rather cramped teacher's lounge that had bagels and cream cheese that Lily mistook for ice cream.  Sweet people came in and out and spoke to us and welcomed Lily to the school.  I wished she would look them in the eye, and I hope that someday she will.  Maybe she will learn that skill in kindergarten.

After writing our address what felt like 400 times and spilling all the deets on our living situation, the first language spoken in our home and all of Lily's various info that she has acquired in her long five years, I was ready to turn in the paperwork to the registrar.  She was so very kind and told me that we had successfully registered.  She started filling me in on likely dates for school starting and kindergarten get togethers that happen the weekend before it starts to familiarize them with the people.

My heart started racing a bit, and it took everything in me to not let the tears come to the surface of my eyes and spill out right there.  I am sure she thought I was a bit of a nutter with my shiny eyes and nodding head, trying for my voice not to crack.  Pull it together, Spenst, this is just kindergarten.  We can do this.

Because of the snow flurries, the school was ordering early dismissal while we were there, and chaos was starting to show itself.  I thought - next year, I will need to rush to the school if this happens.  So it was over, and Lily and I basically ran to the car to escape from the cold.  When I asked if she would take a picture in front of the school, this is the face she made.

Afterlight

Starting next school year, my entire world will change.  I will be adding a whole new community of people to get to know, which is daunting in and of itself.  As my friends and I have discussed it, we decided that living between the two worlds is one of the harder balancing acts.  I will still have three children at home while sweet Lily is at school.  I will have to make both things work, and I am sure that the juggling act will leave me spinning for a while and certainly take some getting used to.

But - I know this is what God has for our family, and that makes it right for us.  I am looking forward to watching Lily flourish next year, as I know she will.  It will broaden our world and bring more people into it, and for that, I am grateful - though a bit nervous.  It's just hard to know how to be known in a whole new context, though I'm sure we'll get the hang of it.

Bella will miss Lily so very much, and right now, she really doesn't seem to get it.  We will all have a lot of adjustments, but we will make it through, and I hope be better for it all.  It's the end of an era, but I think the new era will hold its own charms, pleasures and struggles.  It will be good.

Afterlight

1 comments:

Kelcie Huffstickler said...

We still have another year before we go through this, but I know when we get there, I'll have the exact same feelings. I already do just thinking about it!