Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kindergarten Is Upon Us.

This kid of mine has never been one for change and I can't say I blame him.  Change is not always fun and is often scary.  Even good changes can be intimidating just by virtue of the fear of the unknown.  I myself have been known to stick with the devil I know, if you will, so it runs in the family.

So the fact that my son is not at all interested in starting kindergarten next week is not surprising.  He has come up with every reason imaginable why it's unnecessary.  In no particular order:
  • It will be boring.
  • He will NOT make new friends.
  • The playground does not have a slide like his old school.
  • His old school was perfectly fine.
  • He doesn't need to learn anything new.  Learning, I've been informed by the way, is also boring.
  • Some of his friends get to stay at his old school and it's not fair that he can't.
  • The teacher probably won't be nice, even if his mother says she probably will be.
  • He doesn't care that most of the other kids will be just as nervous or that this will be new for them.
And he ends all these complaining sessions with a very pitiful, "Mama, I'm just afraid."  

So I keep telling him it will be great and he will be great because he is a great kid.  His teachers always like him, he's nice, he's smart and funny and all that jazz.  I remind him he already knows all the rules such as to raise his hand, to stay in his seat, to follow directions, to mind his teachers and to not fart.

Come on.  He's a 5 year old boy and the fart joke got a laugh. I had to cut the tension somehow.

The truth is that I'm afraid, too.  I commented on Melisa's great post about her daughter starting kindergarten and I realized as I was typing it that it really did sum it all up:

My guy starts a week from Thursday. And telling him how awesome it will be, how much fun, how not scary it is, etc., is slowly killing me. Because I am scared shitless for him. I’m afraid they will lose him, or he’ll have to pee and be afraid to tell someone or that he’ll starve to death. Or that something will happen and he’ll be that kid who did that thing and they’ll laugh at him until he graduates high school.

They probably won't lose him.  And he probably won't starve to death.  He can hold his pee like a camel.  (Is that the thing? Do camels not urinate?)  He probably will do something really stupid and get made fun of but so will probably the rest of the kids.

School is hard.  Maybe elementary not so much, but middle school and high school are not always fun. Kids can be mean and my boy is sensitive.  His mother is overbearing and overprotective.  I'm so afraid I'll embarrass him with my love for him.  I want to protect him from every single sad or difficult moment ever.  My gut tells me to be a helicopter mom, even though I will fight my gut tooth and nail to let that kid grow up on his own and be the person he is meant to be.

Even if I'm dying on the inside knowing that he is learning to separate from his parents, I know he has  to have his own life and to be his own man someday.  Yes, of course, I know that he is only 5 and won't move out next month just because he's going to kindergarten, but cut me some slack here.  He's my first and only.

This, combined with other stress in our home lately is likely the cause of our recent sleepless nights. We've had late bedtimes because he can't fall asleep and early wake ups and many middle of the night screams from nightmares.  His fear of the dark is on overdrive.  No one is sleeping and everyone is cranky.

I wish I could do something to take these worries away from him.  And just as much, I wish we could both sleep through the night.

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  1. Great story! I feel the same way about pre-k 4. Avery is in a new school with all new friends. They will be fine though.

  2. I agree, they will be fine. I totally understand his nervous anticipation but I do wish he was one of those carefree kids sometimes!!

  3. Aw, I hope it goes well Michelle. The anticipation is often by far the worst point. My kids are older (15 and 8) but we kind of had to go through this recently after moving them across the country two years ago. Cheers and good luck!

    1. Yes, I think the anticipation of not knowing what's coming is really getting the better of both of us. The apple didn't fall far from the tree here and I know he's concerned about not knowing the routines and the expectations of his teacher. As an adult I even struggle with that, but I'm able to manage it.

      How was the cross country move? We talk about moving to California one day, but the thought of doing it with a child/tween/teen (well any age really!) is probably the biggest con I can think of.