We attended kindergarten orientation last night. I remember two years ago feeling vaguely overwhelmed at preschool orientation - I think they might have handed out a calendar and there were newsletters here and there. Now that we have two years of preschool under our belt I figured kindergarten would be a piece of cake.
I was wrong.
A lot of people worry about their child starting school - will they cry when you leave? will they make friends? will they be able to keep up with the school work? I have to say I'm not too worried about Dylan. He'll like the challenge and he'll love the big playground and he'll finally know the answer to 12 + 27. I'm worried about me.
First of all, the sheer amount of paperwork is overwhelming - lunch forms, snack calendars, "specials" calendars (i.e. which days you need to make sure your kid brings gym shoes), Scholastic book order forms, bus tags, classroom policy forms, forms for the office, forms so you can volunteer...get the idea?
And then there are the volunteer tables - as you are surrounded by hoards of sweaty children and their parents in a tiny non-air-conditioned hallway They would like to know if you would like to help out with the Valentine's Day party...or perhaps Santa's secret shop...or maybe popcorn day? Oh, and could you pick up some extra hand sanitizer and glue sticks for the classroom too?
Seriously, however, I am very excited to volunteer and be involved and I am glad the opportunities are available...it's just a little hard to decide as a first time kindergarten mom what is too much? too little? (Not to mention the big question: will the other mom's like me?? Nothing like being in a school setting to trigger all sorts of school-aged insecurities!)
And actually - truth be told - I love school - love the structure, the learning, even the forms. I'm a rule follower at heart, but I think that's also my problem - there is some mild paranoia that I am going to forget something - and how terrible would that be?? I had JUST mastered remembering to send show and tell to preschool every two weeks. This is a whole new ballgame.
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg because there is also an emotional level to all of this kindergarten business - my child has a locker, and a bus stop, and he's eating lunch in the school gym - where did my sweet chubby cheeked little boy go? Have I prepared him adequately to go out into the world? Can I cross everything off those checklists they keep handing out (pop quiz: does your child know his address? his birth date? his mother's social security number? (kidding on that last one - or am I?)
So just when I've slowed down, taken a couple of breaths and realized this all really going to be OK (and possibly purchased one of those obnoxious super organized mom calendars), I realize...oh wait, there are two more little ones coming behind big brother. Can someone please explain how you juggle more than one school aged child's schedule??
Here's to a new school year - full of change, possibility, and forms.