To My Five Year Old NOT Going Off To Kindergarten
I love you more than you know. You are my firstborn, my first everything. My first to bring home from the hospital, my first to plan play dates for, my first to take to the playground and have those awkward conversations with other moms that I will probably never see again, my first to watch graduate preschool. Everything I do with you is new and I don’t always know the outcome.
You are more than ready for school, excited doesn’t even begin to describe it. You want to go on that big yellow bus and go to school with your friends. You want to have teachers you love like you loved in preschool and I can see you enjoying recess quite a bit.
You are Miss independent. You walk into a room and choose what you want to do. You aren’t afraid of change, you aren’t afraid to try new things, and you figure things out on your own more than I give you credit. When you put your mind to something, you don’t quit till you’ve figured it out.
We made a choice to homeschool and not send you to kindergarten. One that was very hard to make. One that we felt was best for our family. A decision that I am questioning daily.
I don’t want to go against the grain. I don’t want to be the odd one out. I don’t want to feel disconnected. But honey sometimes you have to follow your heart and do the hard thing. The one thing that scares you the most.
So many times I have not tried the scary road. I’ve told myself, I’ll never be able to do this or that. And now I’ll never know if some of those dreams were a possibility. But as I have gotten older, and grown to love who I am, I am trying to follow my heart. Even if it breaks, even if it hurts, even when it's scary, even if I fail.
This summer we prayed. I can remember many sunrises spent asking God about homeschool. We weighed our options. One day I’m feeling confident about it and the next nostalgia kicks in. I loved kindergarten, my teacher Mrs. Dunning was the best. I remember we would sit on a mat and listen to stories, play at different centers, make crafts, play games, have that little carton of milk every day. You probably wouldn’t enjoy the quiet time in the afternoon, but it's one of the only times in your life at school you get quiet time during the day. I’d sit there thinking “Is she going to miss out on all of that? Am I making the right choice?”
Parenting and our education system is different today than it once was. I don't know if we made the right decision, but I'm going to take the scary unknown road and we can climb over the mountains together.
My dear, you won’t be going on the big yellow bus all alone. You won’t be carrying that big backpack off to school. You won’t be bringing kindergarten crafts home and telling me about your day. You won’t be with your friends at school.
You have your whole life to do all of those things. We will make time for friends and discover new ones, we will go on adventures together, we will learn, explore and have fun. I am going to do the very best I can.
Please bear with me on those days I yell and the days I get frustrated with you. Bear with me the times I run and hide in the bathroom because I am overwhelmed. Know that we love you to infinity plus infinity plus infinity plus a million gazillion. And I am truly grateful for this time we get to spend together.