impending doom

Yesterday Jace had his pre-kindergarten assessment.

Dan and I sat in child-sized chairs a few feet behind him and watched while he sat very seriously at a tiny table next to a kind assessment woman. The kind assessment woman would ask him to count to twenty and spell his name and tell her all of the plastic bright colored shapes at the table. My heart threatened to beat out of my chest while I watched, Dan kept tilting his head casually while trying to hear everything, we both would randomly flash him a big thumbs up which he would return with a cheesy grin on his cute face.

In less than one week now it will be his first day of Kindergarten.

I don't know how we got here.

I get it, the clock ticks and the earth rotates around the sun and time continues to slip through our fingers like sand in an hourglass whether we are ready for it or not.

I get it. I do.

But how did we get here?

And more importantly, how do you do it? How do you pull your child from safe and secure and drop them into the real world, just like that?

Jace is unique. All children are, but as his mom I can vouch for the fact that Jace is really very unique. He is his own self. He hates to have his hands dirty or sticky in any way. He is oh so shy and there aren't many things worse than throwing him into the middle of a large group or a bustling activity filled with people and noise. He has always hated crowds. He takes a long time to warm up to new people. Even, sometimes, to people that aren't new at all. He has a temper that can sometimes turn him into the hulk, a teenager of a hulk squeezed into a five year old's body. So we work on it. We teach him to use his words. It's okay to be frustrated buddy, we say, but you have to handle those feelings better. We can't scream, we have to use our words. It's okay to have big feelings, but we have to be big and brave in how we handle those feelings.

Currently Jace goes to daycare three days a week. His daycare center has fences and only one door to enter, which is always locked and you can't get in without clearance. We know everyone there, the teachers are amazing, the class sizes are small. It feels safe and secure and simple.

And now I am sending him into the real world, where teachers are kind and wonderful but doors aren't locked and the class size is doubled. I wish I could hang a sign around his neck saying, PLEASE BE NICE TO ME! Only, that would likely have the opposite affect. What I really wish is that everyone could see him and know him and love him the way I see him and know him and love him.

And even worse than that, what if an evil person walks into his school through those unlocked doors with bad intentions? What if something happens and I am not there to protect him? Isn't that every parents worst nightmare, that you won't be there to protect your child when they need it the most?

He is so excited for Kindergarten. He has woken up every morning this week extremely disappointed that it wasn't time to go to Kindergarten yet. He is ready to grow up and to be big, he is ready for the real world, and I love that about him.

But it scares me so much.

I feel so brave this year. I feel like everything I do is brave. Like I am walking a lot of planks and jumping into oceans with only hope that I will be able to swim to land somehow. Sometimes I feel hopeless and sad and unsure about everything, sometimes I feel like I am drowning, but I never do. I stay afloat and wake up the next day to do it all again, and I think that's pretty brave.

It has been a hard year. The hardest year.

And now I am pulling my firstborn son from safe and secure, and that feels like an entirely different plank to walk. I have knots in my stomach and I'm still so unsure of how I will do it, how I will just let him go like that. How will I turn my back and walk away on that first day?

How does anyone do it?


1 comment:

  1. Oh mama, I hear you. I REALLY hear you. Sam's entering his second year now at public school in just over a week and I already have a pit in my stomach. I have a feeling that pit never goes away. But you've got this, mama. And so does Jace. Growing is hard and good and awful and awesome all mixed into one. But mostly good. 👍🏻