Kindergarten, here we come!

Quite a big day for us today, with my oldest starting kindergarten this morning. I wasn’t sure how I would handle it: the school dropoff, the waving goodbye, the part where I watch my baby growing up in front of my eyes. I’ve had a lot of mixed feelings about this transition in the past week, going from being very excited for him to worried I’d start crying as I left him at school. How scary would it be for him? What kind of place is Mama leaving me  that makes her so sad? Get me out of here, now!

His little brother doesn’t go back to preschool until next week so I knew I’d have to hold myself together or face a lot of questions from him too. I also knew I’d have to keep a tight eye on the clock and our schedule or we’d face the chance to be late for our first day of school.

So I was extremely proud of myself when we got in the car at 8:15am, with school starting at 8:55. My son is in a French immersion program in a magnet school and the ride takes 15 to 20 minutes. Except, it didn’t today.

Somehow, the weather decided to turn nasty yesterday and we got our first rain since probably last April or May. Going to bed last night, I thought I’d seen the end of it, but this morning we woke up with dark grey clouds shedding tears on our windows. Still, I had 45 minutes to get to school, right?

Well, it took every single of these 45 minutes to reach our destination. As always, San Diego drivers forgot how to drive in the rain (that means keeping a safe distance, people!), and the freeways were a complete mess. I got off the parking lot freeway when I could and decided to take the side streets. Apparently, so did everybody else. I’d been worried about the lack of parking in front of the school. No worry there because all the other cars had already left when we pulled into our parking spot, right as the school bell rang.

We sprung out of the car, making our way through the outside eating area and the playground blacktop, and finally reached our class. That’s when I realized everybody else was late with us. Phew! So I helped my son get to his desk and start drawing while the teacher welcomed her students. His brother sat down next to him for a minute and gently rubbed the top of his head. Aw… But wait, no tears. A few minutes later, we took off. I kissed and hugged my son goodbye. I took a last look at him through the classroom windows as we were leaving. He was concentrating on his drawing and never looked up. Fine, be like that… No tears still.

I then got his brother back into the car and we headed for Balboa Park to take advantage of Free Tuesdays at the Natural History Museum. We got stuck into even more horrendous traffic for another 40 minutes. By the time we got to the museum, I realized I never got the tears I expected in my eyes and didn’t feel like sobbing. As a parent, it looks like I’ve done some growing up too. My little guy is getting bigger, and I’m cool with it. At least for today.

Do you remember when your children started kindergarten? If your kids are too little, do you think you’ll have a hard time with this life transition when the time comes?

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12 responses to “Kindergarten, here we come!

  1. Awww! Congrats on your son’s first day of Kindergarten! :)

  2. Congratulations on this milestone! You did an awesome job holding it together because I worry I’ll be a real mess when my time comes. Maybe because m daughter is still at home & hasn’t even started pre-K. Crazy as it sounds but i dread as well as look forward to her first day in school because I know she will enjoy he experience & that milestone will mean we’ve both grown. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell what a ‘good’ mom I’ve been by her performance.
    Wishing you all the best & your son an exciting adventure in school!

  3. Aw… He’s a real big kid now. Congratulations – to both of you.

  4. Congratulation to your son! He will be happy and enjoy his school and has si many friends!
    My older son has been in the school since last year, when he was 2 years old and three month. He started from Pre-Nursery. Now he is in Nursery and will go to the Kindergarten January next year. And he enjoys his school.
    On January next year my youngest son will go to the same school with his brother.
    I know I will be alone at home, and lonely, but yes, they need to go to school :D

    Yulia
    http://www.mylifeismyrainbow.wordpress.com

    • Going to preschool definitely helps both moms and kids to be ready for kindergarten. As a parent, I think it’s hard to see the end of a period (the early childhood) end, even if there are many more fun moments to come.

  5. I have very mixed experiences of leaving children in various care / educational facilities, generally good, but one of which was awful – I ended up giving up my job for three months after that! This was my second boy’s experience at nursery school at about 2 and a half – screaming when I left and then carrying on screaming most of the day.

    In retrospect I see now that he simply wasn’t ready… that is he was not mature enough, although it had suited his brother a the same stage. The guilt felt by me afterwards was terrible!
    However we gently reintroduced him to a different environment three months later (our local pre-school) and it went really well and he loved it there.

    Your child sounds very ready to go and he loved it. You had no need for tears :)

    • You’re absolutely right in what works for one child may not apply to the other, even within the same family. My first went to preschool when he wasn’t even two and a half, while I held back my second until he was well over three. And I’m lucky to now work from home and have a schedule flexible enough to accommodate this type of decisions and changes.

      • not lucky. Well mangaged…..

      • Haha, well, not so “well managed” right now, as I’ve had to deal with more dental, medical and school issues that I’ve ever wanted to in the past couple of weeks. It’d honesly be very difficult for both of us to hold two full-time jobs without getting in trouble with our bosses, so I’m glad to work for myself and adjust my schedule (and my wallet) when needed.

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