I was scared he would talk too much. I was scared he would misbehave. I was scared he would be mean. I was scared he would be bullied. I was scared he would fall behind. I was scared he would have the spirit regulated and tested out of him.
I was scared when I sent my oldest to kindergarten.
Some of my fears came true- he did talk too much, he did get in trouble, he did lag a little at the standard testing. He made fun of a classmate, and he came home crying when one made fun of him.
We talked consequences, and had teacher conferences. We fell into our own routine and trusted our guts on how to handle homework and yellow behavior days. We had him write an apology letter to the boy whose feelings he hurt. We dried tears, we hugged.
And it was all okay. It was fine. I don’t think our first year of school as a family would have been any better had nothing gone “wrong.”
I mean, that’s the point of school, isn’t it? To learn? This isn’t just about sending your kid off to master the alphabet and addition. There’s more to learn here than how to read. And you? You’re going to have to learn, too.
You’re going to have to learn how the system best works with your child, and how to advocate for him or her while also supporting their educators. You’re going to have to learn how to handle behavior issues and hurt feelings when you’re not there to witness them first-hand. You’re going to have to learn to let go a little. A lot, sometimes.
That is the very hardest part.
But you got this. This much I know.
You might also be interested in reading What I Had Wrong About Public School Kindergarten