I always like summer, not least because it is a reprieve
from the never-ending round of viruses kids seem to pick up the rest of the
year. However, Chance has started
“visits” with the preschool he is soon to attend (they recommend a couple of
visits to familiarize the kid) and with the last one he picked up a cold. 

And that means, all things being equal, I’ve got the
sniffles too. It is beautiful out; the
heat wave has lessened but it is still warm, and Chance I sit inside and watch
endless cartoons.  Too much time to
think, cranky, and huddled under blankets… ah, the memories summer is made of!

It is strange for me to think about school in the middle of
summer.  I was never one to do summer
classes. Yet every fall I feel a weird
pang, as if something is missing, as if I’m supposed to do something – no
matter how many years out of school I am, I still feel it. 

As we ramp towards his start date, I have mixed feelings
about Chance going to preschool. Ultimately, I think this will be a great experience for him. I just never thought I’d start a kid of mine
in preschool at two-years-old. Honestly,
I thought (quite disparagingly) that parents who put their kids in preschool
super early were just part of those pushy over-achieving,
living-through-their-kids’-academics types. But Chance is so much more social than I would have ever predicted. He had major tantrums on the last two visits…
as we were leaving because he didn’t
want to go home! He wants to be around
other kids so bad sometimes he cries as we pass a school playground in the
car. It’s not like we never see other
kids or have playdates, but it’s clearly not enough. What I can do with our schedule, my work, our
family obligations, balanced with his social needs is not enough and I accept
that. I can’t give him all that he needs
without sacrificing things that we need as a family unit. Preschool,
given his temperament, is a great option. 

This school puts a lot of emphasis on social development and
life skills, not just academics. Things
like learning to serve yourself food, dressing yourself, listening and playing
well, are taught along with ABCs and shapes. I feel really good about the environment. And one of my best friends, Chance’s
godmother, is a teacher there as well (which lessens A LOT of anxiety for

But I still have my worries. I worry about leaving him with people he doesn’t know for the first
time. Will he cry when I leave him? (Will he not
cry?!) Will he throw a big fit, instead,
when I pick him up? I worry about the
transition, and if this, along with the move, and tentative plans for potty
training in the fall, are just too many changes. I wonder how he’ll behave with other people. Will he listen? Will he be the class troublemaker? Although deep down, I know he’ll probably be
better with them than he is, at times, with me… less willful, more willing to
listen. But… if he doesn’t listen will
the school be able to tolerate an independent spirit? (And I by no means, ever want his independent
spirit to go away.)  I also feel a little
guilty that I don’t feel more guilty about letting the teachers do some of the
heavy-duty work (i.e. I know they will pave the way for potty training more
than I… they do group potty visits, after all, and there’s nothing like peer
pressure). And the big one… what if
something goes wrong and I’m not there?! Even
though I need, and am looking forward to a little more time to work, I already
miss the time I would spend with him. The
“big hugs” and snuggles. And I worry
about balancing the future demands of UORs (Unnamed Older Relatives) with the
time Keen and I want to spend with him. I
think the UORs will be expecting the same amount of time that they got with
Chance before… between you and me, they’re not going to get it. (Though, one of the upsides to preschool is
that it will most likely cut down on the unannounced drop-ins by the UORs –
which have gone up in frequency since we bought the new house.)

They say the “transition to preschool” and being away from
the parents can take up to two
months. Two months! It’s not the same for every kid but that
could be two months of crying when you leave, two months of feeling displaced,
two months of tantrums at the end of the day. It sounds heart-wrenchingly painful, even though the kids will
ultimately love going to school.

But I have to wonder… how long will the transition take for

  – the weirdgirl