Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One Small Step From Preschool, One Giant Leap Toward the Future

Today we took one baby step into kindergarten. It was the "ride the bus to school with your kids and meet the teacher" (or in our case, drive) day. You take in the supplies, get to hang in the classroom a bit, see what the daily routine will be like, and generally relax about sending your baby off into the big, bad world of kindergarten.

Granted, I am not that nervous about it at all. Our boy has attended school in this district for two years. His preschool was taught in the same building as his kindergarten will be in. He rode the same bus he will ride this year. Played on the playground with his preschool class. Ate school lunches. He's Mr. Experience when it comes to the whole school thing. So I'm not going to be the mom who is wiping tears away as my little guy scampers off into the big bad world of kindgarten. (I was that mom two school years ago and it was awful)

What I did think about today was my freshman orientation group from last February. I lead the parent group while the students go into the high school gym with the teachers and administrators. Those parents were just like we were today. Wide-eyed. Scribbling down notes. Asking lots of questions. Wanting to make sure they got this right. I've led more than my fair share of freshman orientations, my very first was only a few weeks shy of little man's birth. Each time the first-time parents say "how did I get here-it all went so fast." That is what I am feeling right now. And I know before I blink, I will be where they sat last February. My husband and I will be sitting in a high school gym or auditorium, listening to the guidance counselor talk credits, state testing, eligibility for athletics, extra curricular activities, ACT testing information and more. We will be scribbling down notes that have nothing to do with volunteering for afternoon snack rotations or class parties, but scheduling and GPAs.

I know it is the cliche of parenting-it all goes so fast. Just when I think I have one stage figured out, we have transitioned into another. I loved babyhood-loved those snuggles. Loved those naps he took with me. I adored toddler years where he squealed happiness about a spoon or paper. Joy oozed from him sun-up to sun-down. At three he began to memorize car makes and models. We ventured into preschool then. I loved discovering his interests as he did. Like watching a sunrise. Four and five have been a slow explosion from small boy into all boy. We don't walk anymore; we run. We don't talk anymore; we shout. We don't sit down anymore; we flop. He loves rock and roll, dinosaurs, Detroit Tigers baseball, all things cars, tractors and construction equipment. He loves books and reading to us. He loves to draw pictures more than he does coloring in pictures. He loves the movie Short Circut. Yes, it all goes so fast, but it is a fun ride. And I am just as anxious as he is to see what is around the bend. The only difference is, I want to linger a moment longer before we get there because I know just how perfect right now is.

Kindergarten, here we come!