Countdown to Kindergarten
By: Meghan Kemp
Oh mamas! Guess where I was last night? At the fabulous“Kindergarten Readiness” information session presented by Cape Cod Children’s Place. If you guys haven’t connected with this organization, you need to, they are amazing – go check them out right now, www.capecodchildrensplace.com, go ahead I’ll wait for you here.
What’d you think? Pretty cool, right?! If you didn’t actually click the link (you non-conformist you) let me fill you in a little. The Cape Cod Children’s Place provides a number of support services to families on Cape Cod including educational sessions, support groups, child care, play groups, and resource information. The session I attended last night was for parents to understand how their child will spend their day in kindergarten, ways to make the transition easier, and a chance for us to ask questions of a kindergarten teacher, and calm our anxieties. They also provided pizza and childcare for the kiddos – this is pretty much a hot date for hubby and I! But the best part of the whole night was the fact that my daughter got to check out her new school. Cool sidebar here – this was also my husband’s elementary school. Cue “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King and mama’s tears.
My daughter had no tears or fears. Excitement is not a strong enough word to describe her feelings about entering kindergarten. She is rearing to go. She was so pissed off when I brought her to pre-school this morning. “Mom, this is NOT kindergarten!”
Me, I’m feeling bittersweet about this momentous occasion. At the start of last night’s session, Cindy Horgan (Cape Cod Children’s Place Family Support Coordinator) asked if we saw our children’s entrance to kindergarten as a challenge or a milestone? As I think about my sweet, gentle, special daughter, I certainly worry about the challenges that lay ahead of her. Will she make friends? Will she have fun? Will she enjoy herself? Will she make good decisions? Will she be able to stand up for herself and her beliefs? Will she eat food off the floor? (Is that just my kid?) But really, the more questions I ask about the challenges that lay ahead, the more I realize this is really a challenge for me, and not for her. Will I show confidence in her ability to do all these things and more? Will I rein in my anxiety so it won’t influence her perception of school? Will I believe in the school system’s ability to keep my precious girl safe? Because I know my girl will soar, if I step back and let her. I know I need to keep giving her the love, the boundaries, the belief that will help her. Will I be able to do all that? I hope so! But this will be a challenge, but for me, not for her.
So I guess my answer to Cindy’s question is that this is a milestone for my girl. A milestone that I can already tell she is ready to meet. She is imagining the day that she will hang her back pack in her very own
cubby, outside of the classroom where her daddy learned to read. She is jumping to run around that gym and make that school her own. I know there will be hard days and she will have her own challenges, but we will all help her meet them. So kindergarten, watch out! There’s a new girl in town and she can run like the wind, tell stories like Shakespeare, and enjoys a mean knock knock joke. Check her out!
Me, I’m planning to up my wine intake until I come to grips with the fact that I will very soon have a kindergartner. In the meantime, we will be reading these great books to help us both prepare for the
So mamas, how was the transition for you? Did your kid rock kindergarten or was it a tough entry? Was it a challenge or a milestone for you and your kiddo? I’d love to hear stories, tips, and advice for this new adventure. Also, expect to hear more on this subject in September, when the school doors actually open!
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