Sunday, June 29, 2008

The post where my hormones make me way too philosophical about something relatively minor.

First Day of "Real" Preschool (2005)
First Day 2006

First Day 2007
Kai has been a part of this great church preschool/daycare since she was 8 months old. I remember the first day I dropped her off there. She was so little and her teacher took her out of my arms and assured me she'd only cry for a little while. I stood outside the tinted window in her classroom watching her for a few moments before reluctantly heading to work.

And she did get used to the environment there. And she grew to love it. And the teachers became family and we trusted these people to take care of our most precious baby.

Each year she moved into a new classroom. Each classroom became more grown-up than the one before. And she grew from a baby to a little girl.

But, tomorrow Kai will be walking through the doors to this school for her last time as a student there. She will leave behind friends she's known since the age of 8 months to come home for homeschool Kindergarten.

And I am absolutely positively terrified that I am making the wrong decision for her. Because this, I am realizing, is where parenting gets hard.

Knowing what to do when your baby has an ear infection, or a stomach bug, or painful teething is easy. There are concrete and unchanging answers to these problems. Knowing how to potty train, or wean from the bottle, or pick developmentally appropriate toys is something we can all figure out how to do with a little help from Google and our friends.

But these big decisions, the ones where we make choices that affect the emotional, spiritual, and educational lives of our children, the ones where there are no answers to be Googled, no concrete and definitive truth, these are the decisions that define us as parents. And these are the decisions that tear our hearts out every time we make them.

As I sit here, crying on the sofa remembering all of the ways my girl has grown these past 4 years and wondering if we're going to damage that growth with this choice, I know that we are entering into a new phase of parenting. A place where there are no certainties and no absolutes and no way to know whether we're doing the right thing until we're in the thick of it.

I realize that this is the beginning of a thousand difficult decisions to come. I know they are only going to get harder. But, I am thankful that I am blessed with the opportunity to make them. Because these decisions mean we are all growing. They define the direction of my life as much as my children. And I am anxious to see where these decisions take us all...


kellymac said...

Considering how much you love your children, I think you're not likely to make any decision that isn't well-thought-out and bound to cause irreparable damage. I can't wait to hear about how it goes. You're going to do great.

Crayl said...

We fight this feeling every year, but teaching Spencer at home has been wonderful, and totally the right choice. It's individual, not for everyone. Get support this first year, it helps. Two things come to mind; 1. We are always complimented on his behavior, his ability to get along with all ages, babies to adults, and that he doesn't just do what other kids are doing, I attribute this to not being in traditional school. And #2. A school can mess them up too. I don't know how the schools are there, but scary stuff goes on in this state.

BethS said...

I was randomly clicking links and found your blog...OhMiGod!...just reading your June posts had me in stitches! I have a 21/2 year old daughter and so much of what you have written rings home. I've come across so many 'perfect' mothers on the web that to read about the life of a loving, creative mammy who has off days and does things wrong and yells sometimes makes me feel SO much better about my horrible pmt days! And the fact that my baby's first word was 'bollox'. altho' I'll swear BLIND it was 'hello'. This is between us, right?
I would love to homeschool but the schools round here are actually I just read websites and plan fantasy syllabuses, (syllabusi??)
And yes, I proof read this post. Even tho' I've had 1/2 a bottle of wine and I'm a leetle tipsy. Okay, I'm going to submit this before I get all paranoid about it. I am SO going to add you to my links! Not that I've blogged in, like, forever. Great writing, keep it up, Beth