This is part of the series of back-to-school posts which will continue into August to help you and your little ones prepare for the annual September routine. Click the “school” tag for more.
After two years, last week was Maggie’s last day at pre-school. I left the school in tears that morning after hugging two of the teachers. If I had my way she’d stay there until she was 18.
Over the past 5.5 years, Maggie has grown in to a remarkable little girl. And while I can take a lot of the credit, some goes to her wonderful teachers and the two fabulous women who cared for her the first three years of her life while I worked. Now we have to send her into the wild, big world of elementary school. Why do I feel like I’m sending her to Mars?
As I’ve been dreading this day since December 25, 2005 (her birthday), I was doing was all obsessive moms do, searching the Internet for information that might ease the transition and help me feel better. I came across this Washington Post piece that nailed it for me.
Maggie is going to be influenced by other people and I’m terrified. Before she was born, I vetted day cares like I was the secret service securing a venue for the President. When it came time for preschool I only asked those I trusted most and found the ideal place. I knew EXACTLY who she was with and what she was doing all day. I trusted her teachers and knew most of the children and their parents. I didn’t worry.
We recently moved to be in a certain school district so we did our due diligence, but kindergarten/elementary school is different. She’s going to be with 300+ kids in a large building — not 40 cute little tots in a small environment. She’s going to be exposed to “big” kids who know a lot more than she does and they might know things I don’t care that she learns. What if she finds out about Santa Claus? What if she learns the words to a song we don’t approve of? What if there are “mean girls”? What if she doesn’t feel good and no one takes care of her? What if she picks up bad habits? UGH!
As this article pointed out, as parents we’re all going through this and I think misery does love company. “To work through anything, you have to acknowledge that it’s there and to acknowledge that it’s okay it’s there.” Well it’s here and I acknowledge it and I’m working through it, but I’m using a lot of Kleenex in the process. I know she’ll be just fine and continue to grow in to an amazing child. She has the foundation in place to do anything, and enough Sicilian in her to stand on her own. But it’s so hard to let go. I had no idea. Please share your misery with me!
—Sara Locricchio, Parenting Program Volunteer