I got a frantic text from a friend of mine a few days ago. Her daughter starts kindergarten next week. She had no idea what to pack her for lunches and just needed someone to give her ideas on what she would need in her backpack that first week. She even needed advice on the kind of backpack to send her to school with.
I remember those days. The panic, the worry, the frantic preparation….
Seems so long ago!
I’m a pro now that Diva girl is going into grade one! We’ve got her ‘Phineas & Ferb’ backpack with the ‘Perry the Platypus’ lunch bag, all from her favorite show on Disney 😄 (good job mom!). We have a very cool blue water bottle (thanks to Nana) and we are completely finished our back to school shopping.
Ha! No problem at all!
So I called my poor friend to calmly give her the 411 on what to do.
Like a good friend I told her to just pack snacks that her daughter would normally eat at home or daycare in re-usable containers. I let her know that it was more about watching what came home in her lunch bag every day that would guide her on what to pack and that once her daughter made friends and started seeing what other kids ate….it would all change anyway and she would either be arguing with her about not eating the lunch she sent or giving in and buying other things that her daughter would request based on her friends’ lunches.
No stress there!
As is my duty, I let her know that the foods that her daughter once loved and were easy for her to make would all go down the drain and she would decide that she no longer liked cheese sandwiches or wraps or lettuce or chicken (unless it was breaded and came in the form of a nugget) or apples or pears…
Oh wait…is that just my child???
Oops…maybe that was why she sounded a little teary-eyed by the time we were done talking!
Guess, I’m not such a pro…especially since Diva girl starts a new school for French Immersion and it’s bigger and she’s nervous and I’m nervous and…it’s bigger and yada, yada, yada…!
Oh man….I need to call a friend!
Yesterday was the last day of school for my Diva girl. Most children are excited by the prospect of all that summer fun awaiting them. My daughter, however, cried herself to sleep last night.
The reason is because she will not be returning to the same school in September. She was accepted into the French Immersion program at a different school and the impact of that truly hit her yesterday as she said goodbye to her teachers and friends. She was a mass of tears before we got through the school doors and cried all the way home. She listed off every reason as to why it was so unfair for her to have to leave her friends and begged me to ‘sign her off’ of this program.
Although I know that this will be a good experience for her and that the school is really not that far away and that a lot of her school friends live in our area, so she can see them when she wants to, it was still a hard thing to see her so broken-hearted. But I realized that this would be one of many decisions that I would have to make for my kids that they probably wouldn’t like, appreciate or understand until they were older.
It was weird, because I felt like a bad parent for doing something that I really believe will be a good thing for her in the long run.
Motherhood…piece of cake.
Do you ever notice how we project our fears onto our children? We want them to grow and experience new things, but at the same time we hold on to them and try to protect them from ‘getting hurt’. Sometimes we hold on so tight that we deprive them from learning and experiencing exactly what we thought would be good for them in the first place.
Being a parent is sometimes such balancing act.
I’ve decided to enrol Diva girl in French Immersion for grade 1 and although I know it will be a good opportunity for her, I am nervous about how she will feel since she will have to change schools. What about all her friends? Will she have problems making new ones? What if she can’t adjust? The school is further away (not five minutes away), what if something happens on the way there; on the way home…?
There’s that ‘what if’ problem again!
But you know what I realized? I was the shy kid in school. I was the kid who hated trying to make new friends. Diva girl is not like me in that sense. Yes, she does like to belong…but who doesn’t. She is definitely more outgoing than I am and people are very drawn to her. When I introduce myself to other parents whether it was at daycare or now at school, they almost always say “Ooooh you’re Diva girl’s mom! I hear about her all the time!”
There was even one parent whose twin girls named their dolls after her!
So, I’ve done my homework and made sure that the school is a good one and so is the neighbourhood. It really isn’t that far away (fifteen minutes at the most) and with a deep breath and a prayer I will be registering her for French Immersion for next year. Yikes!
It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing…..