So Jackson starts kindergarten on Monday, and this wouldn’t normally be such a big deal except that a) when in the world did he get old enough to go to school and b) how in the world did I get old enough to have a kindergartener? This is our first experience with formal education, because he did not go to pre-school like all the other 4-year-olds. I dozen people asked me if I was going to enroll him last year and while I gave the same standard “I’m thinking about it” on the inside I was all HECK NO. I already had one family member in Iraq. I wasn’t about to willingly send another away for four hours three times a week. I didn’t just compare k-4 to Iraq. no I didn’t.
Anyway. Here we are a year later and I no longer have a choice or an excuse. Nevermind that he can beat his father in MarioKart. Five year olds must learn to read! And during preparation this summer I’ve discovered some horrifying things about myself. I am not one of those cool moms who slides through the speed humps of the education system without losing her marbles. Yeah, I’m THE OTHER mom. The crazy one. The one emailing his teacher four days before orientation because the “information packet” I received in the mail said nothing about when and where to drop him off Monday morning. If he’s late it’s because your classroom is at the very BACK of the building and those halls are extremely long. Is a five year old seriously supposed to navigate them on his own??
The “information packet” was actually not informative at all. I expected a carpool route, a student handbook, a lunchroom menu, or at least the number of a trusted therapist for my separation anxiety. It did have a list of school supplies, though, which I would have been out shopping for that very day if it hadn’t been 9:00 at night. The next few hours were a blur of ruined sleep because HELLO! What if all the glue sticks are sold out by the time I get to Target tomorrow morning??
Crazy is in the eye of the beholder. And when it comes to my kids I’m finding rationality is relative. So yes. I did email his teacher. And she did email me back a few days later.
I will really try to get better about checking my email this year. (translation: I needed a few days to consider how best to deal with your insanity.) I will go over a lot of information at orientation and answer a lot of questions. (translation: Couldn’t you have waited four days?) I hope parents bring a list of questions they have. (translation: I am bombarded by parents freaking out just like you!) I am new to this school myself and am having to learn how things are done. (translation: Let me freak you out just a little in addition to the freak you already have!) Other parents may have similar concerns. (translation: Calm down. You are not alone and this is not the end of the world.)
So yeah. We went to orientation and got our questions answered… mostly. And I will walk Jackson to his classroom the first few days until he learns how to find it on his own. Turns out five year olds can be responsible for a lot more than you may think. And since our summer days are limited, I’m enjoying my last few mornings of finishing my coffee at 10:30 and not thinking about the carpool line.