Ella on her first day of Pre-K3. This was also when she still let me dress her!
I feel like the older she gets, and the more into school she gets, the less and less I can protect her. Tell me other Mommy's out there have the same feeling? I feel more scared for her the older she gets I guess. I was nervous for her in preschool, but it was preschool. I felt like I could still really protect her. When she started kindergarten last year I had a hard time with it because I felt like I couldn't protect her as much. Protect her from what? I don't even know the answer to that really- bully's? Things she shouldn't do? Bad things that could happen? Falling down on the playground? Not being able to open her Gogurt at lunch? I don't even know. When she rode off in the bus for the first time last year I felt like I was dropping her off in the middle of Times Square and saying see ya! Have a great day! Enjoy the real world!
Elementary school is the real deal, you know? It's serious stuff. We can't decide to go away for a long weekend and have her miss a day or two here and there for the heck of it, or keep her home a day just so we could spend the day together like we did from time to time in preschool. What happens or what she does in elementary affects her junior high, which affects high school, which affects college, which affects the rest of her life. I know- totally crazy thoughts for a parent of a first grader. You can tell me to pull myself together at any time now.
I don't have anxiety issues by any means (although as I am typing this I am totally questioning myself), but these are the things I can't help but think about. As amazing and awesome as her school/school district is I can't help but be worried for her. In the world we live in, how can I not be? BUT- in the same thoughts as my worry is excitement and joy and pride. She has the rest of her life ahead of her and I couldn't be more excited for her and all of the opportunity she has waiting for her!
This was Ella's first day of Pre-K4. How could I not be excited for all this beauty has ahead of her?
It's a learning process though, right? Ella is our oldest, so you know, this is all new to us. Being a parent of a school age child is a whole different ball game-one that you have to learn the rules as you go! It's like having a newborn all over again, but in a different way. "Oh this happened? What do we do? How do we deal with this? Let's try this! Well crap that didn't work, lets try this! Oh this didn't work either? Well then lets try this!"
I remember Ella came home from school once and said "Mommy, so and so said my middle name is disgusting (it's Margaret-not disgusting at all). I was so angry/upset that she was picked on, and really had never had to deal with anything like that before. Without even thinking I said "well SHE'S disgusting. I mean....that wasn't nice of her. Did you tell her it hurt your feelings?" I know-real mature. It was one of those "oh shit!" moments when you swear in front of your child and hope they didn't hear it! Luckily, she didn't hear it, we chatted about it and moved on. It was one the first times though that made me realize my husband and I were entering a whole new realm of parenting with all sorts of new things to deal with and figure out. As much as you are going to want to personally deal with every child that is mean to your own, you won't be able to. You will just have to hope that what you teach and model for your child at home will be carried out by them when they aren't with you.
Such deep thoughts for a parent of a child as young as Ella, but really I can't be alone in this! These are my worries, my fears. It makes my heart hurt to know Ella is going to be let down by a friend, made fun of by a classmate, left out of a game on the playground, or not invited to the birthday party of the year. I definitely didn't have these fears and worries when she was in preschool, but it comes with the territory I guess! And those things build character-the being left out, picked on, etc. As unfortunate as they are, they help you grow and mature as a person. It'll be a learning process all around, that's for sure!
So here's to another school year, another year of posing at the bus stop......
Let's hope its even better than last year. And here's to all the teachers who pretty much spend more time with our kids than we do during the school year. You aren't paid nearly enough, and aren't told nearly enough how awesome you are. So, thank you!!
Thanks for letting me share my fears and worries with you all. I totally planned on sharing my new favorite backpack trend, but once I started typing about Ella going back to school I couldn't stop! Guess it was really on my mind more than I realized!
I've got a great style post coming tomorrow-see you then!