School has started just about everywhere! There are only a few schools that wait until after Labor Day to get things in gear. I love those schools! The students in those districts get just a few more weeks to enjoy the summer and well.... be kids.
For many moms, your little ones are headed off to kindergarten for the first time. For some of you it is your very first child. It isn't like it used to be. We used to stay home until we were five and then Kindergarten started. You went to school for half a day. You spent the school year learning your ABC's, days of the week, months, numbers.... You had a little plastic mat that folded into thirds or fourths that you lay on to take a nap, even though you were only there half the day. Kindergarten was cool! It was relaxing and it started you off on a path of believing that school might actually be enjoyable. It was also a little easier on the moms. You only had to let go of your little darling for half the day.
Did I mention that we walked to school? No buses. The schools were in our own neighborhoods. We walked to school. We walked home for lunch, we ate lunch at home and walked back to school for the afternoon.
Now, kindergartners go to school all day long. It is considered tantamount to abuse if you have not sent your child through one or two years of preschool first. Kindergarten is the new first grade. What we used to learn in first grade now gets taught in kindergarten. Parents give away their children at ages three, four or five to preschools. Now don't get me wrong, I am not knocking preschool, I am knocking the idea that we no longer spend some of the most valuable and impressionable years of our children's lives with them ourselves. Not only do they not get to be kids, but we are having parenthood taken away too.
It really makes me sad. Preschool is not for everyone. Not going to preschool is not for everyone. We are in such a rush to push education at our children that they loose those precious years of just being a child. Last week, one of the grandchildren started kindergarten. "Mommy" is a teacher, so the transition was smooth. Our little munchkin was already familiar with the building and is attending the same school where her mom teaches.
The oldest granddaughter goes for the first day tomorrow. I plan to be at their house at 8:00 in the morning with an industrial sized box of tissues and lots of hugs. The tissues are for Mini-Me. The thought of sending her child to kindergarten is devastating her. I plan on spending the morning mopping up tears and maybe taking her to lunch.
I don't think I ever cried when the kids went to kindergarten. I am pretty certain I sent them off with a big hug and smile. We won't talk about the tears when they went to college though. You just keep picturing me smiling as they head through the doors of school. I do remember a couple of them being concerned about what I would do without them at home. Calvin in particular, attempted Jail Breaks every day at lunch. He was sure that his mom needed him. It took several weeks before the teacher could convince him that first graders must stay at school all day.
When the kids asked me what I would do without them, my answer was "I might just sit in a chair for a while and smile, I might listen to nothing, I might listen to my music and dance." Of course, that answer provoked some pretty unusual looks. They were genuinely concerned about my well being and mental health.
It is MomSense Monday. I hope you dance!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!