Sunday, September 12, 2010

Back to school blues

So both of my boys have started school. Adam is in the 4th grade this year. Not liking that so much. For some reason it feels like the summer between 3rd and 4th grade was the line between little kid and big kid and he has now crossed that line. Nope. I don't like that at all. It might be because it seems like it was only yesterday that we brought him home for the first time; or it might be the fact that he still only weighs about 55 pounds and he still looks like a little kid ; or it might be because Adam is and always has been my baby and I'm not ready for that to end. It's Adam who was with me every time I had to change a diaper or make a bottle in the middle of the night. He's the only newborn that I ever hummed (I can't sing) lullabies to when he was fussy and didn't want to sleep on his own. He's the only baby that ever called me mama. He's the only person on the planet whose first teeth and first steps and first words are plainly etched into my memory. At the time we were doing all those things I didn't realize that I would never do them again and although those moments were a long time coming so I knew enough to cherish all of them, I kind of thought I would get another chance. I'm so not ready to let go of Adam's baby-hood, but for some reason 4th grade appears to have taken it away from me. Darn you 4th grade.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, Noah started kindergarten. Don't like that one bit either. Most moms get a full five years with their kids (or even six if they are lucky enough to have a kid with a late birthday) before they have to send them off. I haven't even had three years with Noah. Technically, I should be able to keep him with me for another two years.
The thing is, Noah has been ready to take off since he was three and I'm pretty sure that he is completely convinced that he has done more than his share of time locked up in the house with mom. He is an adventurer. In spite of my best efforts to keep him close, he wants nothing more than to be around people and action and excitement, and there's nothing that he's not ready for. Just ask him. He can do it. And he can do it bigger, better, and faster than anybody else ever has. And if he doesn't do it the first time, just wait because he'll get there. Noah starting kindergarten is just as sad and even more scary to me as Adam crossing that 4th grade line. Although I suspect that Adam would be okay if I held onto him a little longer, I'm pretty sure that once Noah gets a taste of what's out there for him, he'll never look back, and I'm not ready for him to go.

Here they are lined up waiting to go into their classroom. Notice that in the top picture Noah is in the middle of the line. Then notice where his little head is in the second picture. As soon as his teacher opened the door he ran as fast as he could to the front of the line so that he could be the first one in the door. He did pause and blow me a kiss right before he disappeared . . . but then he was gone. See? No looking back for that kid.

We opted to do half-day kindergarten for Noah and he was excited because his friends were going to be in class with him, and then they would have all kinds of time to play each day after school. Then, two days before school started, a rush of kindergarten registrations allowed our school to add another kindergarten class. Believe it or not, all the little boys from our neighborhood that Noah plays with were moved to an all day class. Every day as we are walking home from school he starts going through the list to see who he can invite over to play. He is completely confused as to why his friends are all still in class when he isn't. I'm not sure how many more days we are going to have that same conversation, but so far he has not accepted my explanation. I think he is convinced that I'm just being mean to him. My task is to figure out how to take advantage of the time that he and I are going to have together this year, and to give him reasons to be excited that he gets another year of afternoons with mom. I also think that I need to get on the stick and start setting up play dates with boys from his class, even though I don't know a single one of them. He has no problem making new friends, so I obviously need to just get on board. I've decided that Kindergarten is for the birds. Kind of like 4th grade. Blech.