In the past few weeks my social media feeds have been full of mommies talking about registering their children for kindergarten. Its such an exciting and terrifying time, and I know for a certain group of mommies, the ones with children born in the later part of the year, its especially anxiety inducing.
I know how they feel, that was me in the beginning of last year, struggling with the choice.
Is she ready? Will not sending her to school hold her back? Will she be picked on because she's smaller? Will she be tired without a nap? Will she be scared?
Here in Ontario, children enter the school system the calendar year that they turn four. In my area the only option for kindergarten is all-day every day. It meant that my daughter would be three years old when she started and she would be gone A Lot. My baby who up until that point had been my constant shadow. I seriously considered not sending her until the next year, but that presented its own issues. Would she be behind? Would she be left out of already formed social circles?
It really felt like I couldn't win, to the point that I actually considered homeschooling!
In the end though, I decided to send her. It was hard, and on that first day, I felt like my heart was breaking. As she walked into that classroom with her little backpack on and her head held high, she didn't even cry, I cant say the same thing about myself.
I really think that sending her was the right decision. In the months since she started school, I have watched her bloom. My shy little girl has blossomed into a social butterfly. She has friends, she has a lot of friends! She is learning at such an incredible pace, and she's so proud to share what she knows.
I may miss my little girl while shes at school, but I know shes where she needs to be. I see now that wanting to keep her home was a selfish thought, I wasn't ready to share her with the world. I'm glad I did though, because she was ready.
We've entered into the "letting go" part of parenting. I need to open my arms a little bit and watch her grow outside of their shelter. Its a hard place to be and I know its not going to get any easier in the coming years, but I'm proud to say we made it through these firsts steps.