Are You KIDDING Me With This???

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sights Set On New Adventures

Yesterday, I walked onto the campus of our local elementary school and met the woman who is going to be responsible for Turtle for 6.5 hours every week day for the next 9 months. Tomorrow, I will make sure Turtle gets up, puts his clothes on, eats his breakfast and gets ready to walk onto that same campus as a brand new kindergartener.

His teacher is a lovely young woman, newly married, who looks like she might be about 12 years old. She also looks like the woman who has styled my hair for the last, oh, decade or so, and whose breasts my son used to reach for when I would bring him to one of my appointments. I really hope Turtle never goes into a fugue state and starts reliving moments from his past while he’s in Mrs. C’s class. That could get awkward.

The classroom is nice. Little labels mark every surface with words like “painting” and “table”. His teacher’s desk sits in the back with a calendar resting upon it, marking off blocks of time for PE and art class. Turtle didn’t waste too much time on those kinds of details. He was busy exploring the room for the kind of trouble he could get into, his eyes lighting up when they found the dry erase boards in the back.

We asked his teacher the kinds of questions you want to ask when you’re sending your baby off to be with people you don’t know. The playground is monitored so he’s safe, right? Where does he need to be when the bell rings so we can teach him what to do? Will there be someone to help him open up his applesauce container at lunchtime? He sometimes has trouble with that.

I didn’t ask the questions that his teacher wouldn’t be able to answer. Will he find friends on the playground or will the other kids see that he can be a sensitive kid sometimes and bully him? Will he remember to use his inside voice and keep his hands to himself or will I need to make a few trips to the principal’s office to gently remind him that he can’t roughhouse with everyone the way he does with Daddy? Will you see what an amazing, loving, intelligent, precious kid he is and realize what a precious gift it is that we’re sharing him with you?

I thought that when I took a job and said goodbye to being a stay-at-home mom I had already done the bulk of the “letting go” that needs to happen when you send your baby off to school for the first time. After all, as it is, Turtle is with a babysitter for even longer now than he will be in school every day. What’s the difference if he’s going to school or going to the babysitter’s house?

There is a big difference, apparently.

I got a little teary when I got the letter from his teacher with the school supplies she was requesting portioned off into lists denoting “wants” vs. “needs.” I got a little more teary when I went shopping with Mama Jo for those same school supplies. Last night, I was proud that I made it through the Open House without crying. Tomorrow, I will be bringing a box of tissues for Turtle’s classroom and another one, maybe two, for myself.

Tomorrow is a big day.


Post a Comment

<< Home