I am not sad that Drew is going to kindergarten in September. I am not sad that Annie and Izzie will be attending preschool for 6 hours a week in September.
I’m pretty sure this makes me kind of a freak in the parenting world. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll cry when he gets on the bus that first day, but I know he’ll be with Meg and she’ll make sure he gets off the bus at his school before she heads on to hers. Annie and Izzie will be going to the same school and will be with each other, so while I’ll shed a tiny tear, I’ll be happy they’re together to start their journey.
The reason that I’m not sad that my house will be a bit quieter in September isn’t because I don’t love my kids. It’s not because I really want to clean my house without little hands and feet messing it up right behind me. And it’s not because I just want to drink my coffee while it’s hot and watch a little Today show (ok, well maybe a little of all of that because I’m only human!)
It’s because the school experience is the next Big Thing. It’s what I’ve been preparing them for since they could walk and talk. Not in overt ways like flash cards and workbooks, but in more subtle ways like reading to them and practicing letters and spelling word after word after word for them. Ways like counting rocks and and using fridge magnets to spell A-N-D-R-E-W. Ways like giving them a hug at the door to the bus or in the doorway of school and saying “have a great day!”
I think what makes all of it easier for me is that I’ve been there and done that with Megan. I’ve put a child on the bus for the first time (and yes, I met that bus at the school and watched her walk in the door that first day). But, I’ve seen how she thrives in school. I know that I cannot give her what she gets from going to school every day. I feel that same way for Drew, Annie and Izzie. I believe I’ve given them the tools they need to start the next Big Thing. Of course I’ll be here to help them if they stumble along the way, just as I’ve been with Meg. I’ll support and encourage them, cheer their successes and wipe away their tears.
So if this makes me a freak in the parenting world, so be it. I know it’s right for them, for all of us. And I can’t wait to see how they spread their wings and fly.