Tiny is five years, eleven months old. He is forty-nine inches tall. He is a brown-haired, green-eyed, active little boy. He is missing his two front teeth, which makes five teeth lost over the course of a year. His favorite sports are tee ball and soccer. He hates his bicycle, carrots, corn, and getting in trouble. He loves dinosaurs, broccoli, superheroes, candy, every fruit that God created, and his puppy dogs. When he grows up, he wants to be a baseball player, or a paleontologist. Or, a baseball playing paleontologist.
That’s an awesome life goal.
In two weeks, my son will embark on a new life journey. It’s August, which means back to school, and my child is about to start Kindergarten. His glimmering, shiny, Jurassic World backpack is packed and waiting. Two lunch boxes–Spiderman and Avengers themed–are awaiting rotation of future school lunches. His new Skechers will walk, with bouncing exuberance, onto unknown sidewalks, freshly scrubbed laminate flooring, and classrooms excited to meet a new wave of students.
Together, Tiny and I are practicing the phrase, “Hello, my name is Tiny Tot. It’s nice to meet you,” because, although he holds an adorable new lisp, he is ready.
My child is ready for Kindergarten, but I am not. Fear, worry, and doubt fill my mind at the premise of being a Kindergarten parent. There are questions upon questions causing panic to the point of medication. As always, I do not panic well–not that there is such a thing as panicking well. I feel the strain and pressure of the pending First Day of Kindergarten, and it makes me want to run to my bed, dive under the covers, and never emerge. I can’t though, which is why I have questions.
Am I going to be able to wake up at 6:30 every morning? Can I get my child up at 6:30 every morning? Will I be able to get us both dressed, fed, and out the door in time for school?
Can I pack healthy lunches every day? Will he remember to bring his lunchbox home, every day? How will I know if I pack enough lunch for him? What if I overfeed him? What if I underfeed him? What if he can’t learn, because he’s hungry, because I didn’t supply enough nutrients for him?
How does the bussing system work? Will I be able to drive him to school in the morning? On mornings that I need to drop him at preschool by 6 AM, can he take the bus to school? Will he be tired and groggy, unable to function, if he’s dropped off that early in the morning at daycare, because I have to work? How will he remember to ride the daycare bus, and not the neighborhood bus? What if he gets on the wrong bus?
What is PTA? Do I need to join the PTA? What is the benefit of volunteering at the school? Will it look bad if I don’t have time to be a volunteer? What if I don’t want to be in the PTA, or be a volunteer, at my own child’s school? What does that say about me, as a parent?
When will we know who his Kindergarten teacher is? Is he going to like his new teacher? Is the new teacher going to like him? Am I going like the teacher? Will his new teacher like me? What if his new teacher likes my ex-husband more? When doesn’t that happen? Will I get through this year without the teacher voicing negative views on divorce, and its impact on children?
… Can I ever become accustomed to hearing those intrusive remarks, from teachers?
What happens if his dad forgets his lunches on Fridays? What happens if he forgets his homework at home? What happens when I forget his homework?