It is the first week of August, and although we still have several months of warm weather in Atlanta, school starts next Monday! THIS is a big deal because D starts kindergarten! He is going to his next stage in life. He is a big boy! There are so many changes. This summer he learned to swim, he started to lose his baby teeth and he even wears boxer briefs now! He is five years old, and apparently he is becoming a man! I am excited. I am happy. I am a little scared. Grade school will be a whole new world for both us. From what I have heard, kindergarten is like 1st grade now. Kids learn to read and they have homework. It means less fun and games and more expectations and responsibilities for both D and I. It was quite fitting that I just watched the Bad Moms movie as I start this new journey in motherhood. I loved the movie. I loved that it pointed out the impossible expectations we have of ourselves as mothers and the stresses of grade school.
From the time D was a baby there was high expectations. After taking a lactating class and reading a Dr. Sears book, I felt that if I did not breast feed my child I was a failure as a mother. Now I am buying school supplies for Kindergarten and I feel as if it is the first test. The school asked for 12 count pre sharpened Dixon Ticonderoga pencils, but I could only find 12 count unsharpened or 18 count sharpened. Was this my first test?! Why do they have to be sharpened? When I was growing up and the school list included pencils my mom could buy any pencils she wanted!
There are different expectations for our generation of moms and there are also different expectations for our kids. D actually took a test BEFORE he got into Kindergarten. The school privately evaluated him to find out if he knew how to identify letters and count to 20 among other things. In 1985 my classmates and I did not know our alphabet in Kindergarten. In fact I did not even know English! It was intimidating, but by the end of that year I knew English. Learning a different language is not a small task, but I would have been extremely behind by today’s standards of Kindergarten!
Honestly, I think my son will meet and exceeds his generation’s standards. He is smart and confident. I know he will wake up and get dressed by 6:20 am, while I am still putting snooze on my alarm. He has always been a morning person, and finally that is a good thing. He is so ready for this stage. It is bittersweet for me, but motherhood is not about mom. Motherhood is about loving someone with all your heart and teaching them to be without you. I am excited for this new stage. I look forward to the many more new experiences to come. I hope not to be swept away by the competiteness and stress that comes with grade school. I will continue to try to keep it real: balance the old style with the new style; only do what feels right and don’t sweat the small stuff. I ended up buying the 18 count packages of pencils. It was not the right count, but it was the right brand and they were sharpened. I hope I past my first test!