The fall semester started at the university, we successfully moved to the new house and Petit Joel is in Junior/Senior Kindergarten. A bunch of changes and transitions happened in a pretty short time and I am dealing with it all one day at a time.
Kindergarten just blew me away for some reason. Kindergarten? Really? Wasn’t my son just born recently? I cannot believe how quickly time flies. He has been at Daycare for one year already and has been doing really well. I took him out for our Europe trip two months ago and he enjoyed the summer off with Oma and Opa in Germany. This is his first week at his new school and he is doing a great job. No crying, no whining and all he really wants to do and talks about is to play with this amazing marble machine they have in his classroom.
It is a bit more work for me since I have to pack his lunch and a snack for the afternoon but we figured all this out by now, too. I have to admit that dropping him off on his first day was sort of emotional. Not like breaking into tears emotional but realizing that this is another important step he is taking. Transitions like no more diapers during the day to no more diapers during the night to going to the bathroom on his own all the time. Everything seems to happen so quickly lately. He will turn four in October and this stage and age is so much fun. He can articulate what he wants and wow, I do love our conversations. His long explanations, opinions on everything and anything and the questions are just awesome. Also, his first week in Kindergarten seems to provide so many great new challenges and adventures in his life. When I pick him up in the afternoon he seems to be buzzing with so much new information, songs, words and is very excited to tell me ALL about it. His little mouth does not stop but who cares. It is fun. He has French language days on Monday, Wednesday and sometimes even onFriday which is so neat. He tells me about volcanos in French and comes down to breakfast in the morning saying, “Bonjour, mommy!” Trilingual child in the making: check.
Looking at him I realize that I would love to keep him at this stage forever. That he remains this cute, friendly, curious, kind and inquisitive. When he was three years-old and I initially dropped him off for the first time at Daycare I thought that it is kind of hard to let this little guy out into the real world. Is he ready? Was he ready? Was I ready? Did I give him enough guidance, love or did I prepare him enough for Daycare or now for Kindergarten? I reckon I did since he is doing so well even though it hits me from time to time thinking that we are already at this stage. I just nursed him, right?! Petit Joel asked me the other day if he can have a desk in his new room so he can draw and start doing his homework. Sigh! Sniff!
As a mom, I am also thinking about bullying and whatnot. I know children can be cruel sometimes. I remember when I went to Kindergarten they taught us what physical harm is and that it is not okay when somebody slams others into lockers, beats up “nerds”, threatens, humiliates, any type of name-calling or takes food and things that do not belong to them. They basically told us how not to behave in a simple understandable way. It worked. Of course, there were the occasional fights at the school playground or in the hallway but overall, it was good. This was a looooooong time ago. In the 80s. This world is different now. Now they have signs and posters with a suicide hotline speed-dial number to call on the walls leading to the children’s classrooms. I binge-watched 13 Reasons Why, I was a Police Officer, in suicide prevention and in law enforcement since I am 17 years-old so I know what I am talking about. I read a suicide note written by a little nine year-old boy who hung himself in the garage because of bullying.
As a mom, I obviously don’t want anything to happen to my child. Since I am stuck with the law enforcement background I have I teach him that he can come to me with anything and everything that bothers him or that happens at school. Anything he needs assistance with and any problem that needs to be addressed. By simply observing him, I can tell that something is not right. Sometimes the key is to just listen to him and pay attention. Nothing else. Many time in my life I was naïve and I usually learned the hard way. I want to spare him some experiences if possible. Maybe I can, maybe I cannot. There is only so much you can do as a parent. But one thing I will always do: Love him unconditionally no matter what.
This morning I still stood at the fence at the school after I dropped him off. He hugged and kissed me goodbye. He took his tiny backpack with his lunch and things and put it where his group is supposed to assemble before they go to their classroom. He did not cry and climbed up the ladder to go down the slide. I turned around and tried to balance feelings of awkward purgatory and eventually got back on my bicycle to ride to school. I wiped away a tiny tear that just popped up on the side of my eye.