Isaac starts kindergarten one month from today. It is no secret that I am agonizing over him taking this step. I just cannot believe that we have reached this point. Has it really been almost five years since we brought him home from the hospital?
As summer was starting I would have said that I couldn't see him as a kindergartener. In my eyes he was still my baby. But, in the weeks since school has been out and I have been home with him daily, it is as if he has grown before my eyes. He seems taller, more mature, and very much a little boy -- not a baby, or a toddler or even a pre-schooler.
Isaac is starting to get excited about going to school. We try to talk about it and we have gone to see the school that he will attend. And, of course, we are reading books about kindergarten. One that we own that Isaac particularly likes is Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis. In this book the little boy, Dex, is getting ready to start school, but his pal Rufus (a stuffed animal) is scared that something will go wrong -- he will get lost, or he will sleep too late, or he will not know anyone, or he will not like his teacher -- you get the picture. Of course, in the end, he loves his first day and Rufus'/Dex's fears are put to rest.
Rufus' fears in this story mirror my own more than they do Isaac's. We have been blessed to have had the support of a wonderful daycare for the past 4 and a half years. It was small and personal and Matt and I knew that Isaac was well-loved and cared for while we worked. Sending him to a school of over 600 students to be in a class of over 20 5 year-olds scares the hell out of me. How can they keep him safe and take care of him?
This milestone that we are about to reach is much more traumatizing for the parents than for the children, or so I am told. It represents a loss of control to some extent, a letting go that I am not sure I am ready for. I know that we are doing our best to raise Isaac to be confident and self-reliant, but there is so much that he is going to encounter that we have no way of preparing him for. In the end, I know that I have to have faith that everything will be okay. But it will be one of the hardest things I have ever done.
I will make a valiant effort on the first day of school to put on my happy face and send Isaac into his classroom with a hug and a kiss and a high-five. When I pick him up at the end of the day I hope I will hear him say "kindergarten rocks!"