My son, who just turned five a few days ago, started kindergarten today. (Post-date note: I wrote about him and our saga with kindergarten "redshirting," deciding whether or not to send him, in an article on Babble.) We just dropped him off. It was total chaos up at our neighborhood public school, there are 6 kindergarten classes of 22 kids each, and everyone was trying to locate their teacher, and their class. Everyone seemed to be a bundle of nerves, not knowing what to expect. It was easy to tell which parents were sending their firstborn off to the wolves; we were the ones crying and chewing nails, twisting pieces of hair. The moms and dads who had done this before – well, they were the ones who just walked away after plopping their kids off with their teacher. I was a nervous wreck and begged to stay until lunch.
Holden was fine. He was excited. He is very confident, which makes me confident that he will be fine. He does have a terrible habit of letting his mind go and wandering off, and I’m sitting here right now praying that he does not do that. What if there’s an interesting poster on the wall? He is the kind who will step out of line, follow the pretty poster, go over and read it and see what it’s about. I hope he’s not doing that right now, I hope he’s fully engaged, and standing where he’s supposed to be standing, smiling when he’s supposed to be smiling.
I was a school-obsessed child. I took it very seriously. I was always panicked about being late – my mom, trying to get ready for work and get four children ready for school - was always tardy in the mornings, and most days we pulled in on two wheels, and I’m still shocked to this day that I suffered no cardiac damage whatsoever for this torture. For I believed every day, as I sat on the couch waiting for my mom to get ready, hearing the strictly ordered hurdles of her morning routine – oh, that’s the blow dryer, good, now… yes, it’s the compact closing, she must have her powder on already! - heart pounding in anxiety, that for sure I would die having to endure this, waiting for my mom to get ready, being late to school.
Will Holden love school as much as I did? We have a few things in common, like we both love to read, we both love gathering facts and information. Maybe he will love it, love it as much as I did, can’t wait to go. Maybe he will.
What will he do all day there, without me? What will he talk about with the teacher, the other children? I think about him differently now. He’s doing seven hours worth of things that I’ll never know about. I wonder if he feels the same way about me, wondering what I will be doing.