Today was Kindergarten Round-Up.
(everybody roll your eyes now)
For the last two years or so Buddy has asked me almost every day how much longer until he gets to go to school. I told him that he'd get to go when he was five.
On his fifth birthday (in November) he woke up, sized himself up in the mirror, and announced how excited he was to get to ride the bus to school that day. It wasn't easy to break the news that he had to wait almost a full year until September. He was devastated. I was relieved.
I dread this next part of my life. Waking up early. The chaos of the morning rush. Homework. Scheduling life around the school calendar. Getting to bed early. The drama of friends. The peer pressure. The phone calls from the school/other parents because of the things my child(ren) will inevitably do. But mostly, I dread being away from him, even if it's just a few hours a day. I remember my mom saying that she was always disappointed when summer was over and it was time for us to go back to school. That always meant a lot to me as a child, but boy do I know exactly what she was talking about now that I'm grown.
I opted out of preschool this year, which was a very good decision for us. And while I'm tempted to keep him home from Kindergarten, it would be for my benefit, and that's not right for him. This kid was made for school. The social experiences, the academia, he'll love it all.
So the two of us went to register today. I didn't really know what to expect, but Buddy was excited. He'll be attending a brand new school that is still under construction, so registration was at the police station. When we arrived, Buddy got to take a school bus ride over to the new school and around the surrounding neighborhood. Who needs Disneyland because from the buzz on the bus, this was pretty much a dream come true for all the children riding. Since the school is still under construction, they got a "hard hat" with their school name and their class year. Class of 2022! They got to plant a sunflower and they were told to watch the sunflower grow and when it gets super tall and blooms, then it's time for school to start. Some volunteer teenagers read the kids the "Kissing Hand" and then they made a kissing hand that their teacher will put on their desk on the first day of school, so they can remember their mom and dad if they get lonely at school. (Buddy won't, but it's really cute anyway.) We mingled with a few friends from church and the neighborhood which was fun too. But the best part (besides the bus ride) was how Buddy attracted the attention of the many staff that were there. He is charismatic and can work a crowd better than anyone. He got the attention of the principle who knelt eye-level and talked with him for ten minutes. And several teachers approached him and said they were told "they had to meet him." Interestingly enough, just yesterday he told me he was worried that the kids at his school wouldn't like him. I don't that will be an issue.
It makes me sick to start this big phase of life, but he's ready and he needs to continue to develop his talents and personality. As awesome as I am, he couldn't totally do that stuck at home all day. The further I get into parenting, the more I realize that it's not really about me.
In related news, I took the boys to the science museum today with several friends. We were just there about a month ago. And while Sambo was walking then, he wasn't sure enough about himself to really wander around and play. But today was another story. It was surreal to see him walk away from me to look at something, to watch him splashing in the water, and to see him handling the learning toys. As much as I hate to admit it, I think he stopped being a baby today.