Thursday, July 11, 2013

Natalie Starting School

I have more and more mixed feelings about Natalie starting school the closer it gets.

I am excited for a few reasons. First of all, just having one child to watch is a huge stress reducer. And, I will get a lot of alone time with William if she gets a morning session.  I'm also excited for her to start this huge stage in her life. There is so much for her to learn and experience for the first time. So much about school in the early years is just fun. She will be making new friends and riding the bus. She will be gaining independence in all sorts of skills. Not to mention that her coming closer to reading and writing and really drawing is exciting in and of itself.

But, I'm also really starting to understand that she will be away from me so, so much. I will no longer know everything about her day. I won't necessarily know if what she says happened really did. I won't know the other kids. I won't know the songs or stories or games that she tries to repeat at home. And, she will be meeting a lot if people I do not know, opening her up to all sorts of scary thoughts. And, she will be exposed to all kinds of content from her fellow students.

I worry about Natalie having trouble. Sometimes I worry about her being overly sensitive to criticism. Other times, I worry about potty accidents or her distaste for having her hands dirty. I worry about how when she gets frustrated, she ruins her work. She still screams, pouts, grabs, howls, and pushes. She doesn't like to share when she is attached to toys in an intricate pretend game.  Yet, school seems an excellent place to work on these things. I know learning is hard, yet I still worry about her feelings as she learns to adapt to the rules. She has so much to say and loves to sing so loud, and it makes me sad to think of those parts of her being managed, and potentially squashed. 

But I also know that when I try to teach her things, I become easily frustrated with her. I know school will give her some new environments and relationships to encourage her to hold a marker correctly or sing along rather than just watch.

Ultimately, I think school will be good for her and that she is ready even though she will be one of the youngest in her class, just 14 day before the cut off. I envision her loving her teacher like she does the adults in our life. I see her accepting the routines. My concerns come in more when her personal needs won't be met, in terms of being able to be herself and have things to do which engage her.

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