By: Tanya Pimental
It’s 100 degrees today and summer is half way over. This means the back to school commercials have started airing and the sale fliers are full of notebooks and backpacks. My daughter is so very excited to start Kindergarten in the fall and yet I am full of mixed emotions about that chapter of her life. I literally get teary eyed thinking about this next stage of life. One of the hardest things for me to smile and nod at is when people tell me how great it will be to do things with just one child in tow or how wonderful it will be for her. I have no doubt it will be wonderful for her and she is more than ready for school. She is of legal age to enter and there is no real reason to delay the start. But, I will truly miss her. Six hours is a long time and to accept that so many hours a day for years to come
will be spent having someone else teach her and guide her is hard for me. I guess it’s helpful to share my concerns and fears with others in a similar time in their lives as parents. The reality is, she is ready … but I am not.
I loved school growing up. I was not popular at all and was pushed hard to get all A’s in conduct and effort. Most of my report cards were on the honor roll. How will I make sure my kids enjoy school and do well without pushing them to hard? The overwhelming push to succeed in school these days is getting tougher and tougher. I want nothing more for them to enjoy the days they are in school and still do well. It scares the crap out of me to think of how I will manage the home side of the school years. Finding this balance is going to be key. I have always said that I worried little about the school and the schooling, but more so about other kids and what aspects of home they would each bring into the classroom and into my child’s life.
The following quote was in a New York Times article I read recently while browsing the internet, “The hardest part of releasing you to elementary school — or any new experience — is realizing that I must give you up to the less-than-perfect world that awaits you.” And in reading it, I realized I am not a perfect parent and I never will be. My only hope is that I am doing a good enough job and that what I am doing will translate into a better world or in the least a better place where ever it is that my children land. So I will send her off armed with manners and a smile that will easily make friends. And I’ll bring tissues. Let’s just hope I can hold back the tears until her pink backpack is out of site.
So for now I relish in her excitement and gear up for some back to school shopping. And I’ll try not to think about how quickly time is passing. This milestone is just the start of things to come. Remind me how petty all these emotions and fears where when I am dealing with a door slamming teenager. The best thing is how at ease my daughter is,
“I just can’t wait to make new friends and tell everyone all about me!”