Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Kindergarten Jitters

This is Ben's last week of preschool. Ever. In three short months he'll be a full-fledged kindergartener. The school district does a really good job of preparing the kids AND the parents for the transition to kindergarten, with lots of information sessions, chances to ask questions, tours of the school, etc. So far Ben has been nothing but excited, expressing no concerns or nervousness. When I inquired if he'd asked his friend in kindergarten any questions about it he said, "No, I want to find out what it's like for myself."

I, on the other hand, must be more nervous than even I realized because I've started having stress dreams about it. In them we're always late for school or Ben doesn't have anything he needs or we don't know where to go. This is a very typical reaction for me during times of change, stressing out about something MONTHS before it happens.

I shouldn't be surprised. Ben and I have a long history of him being perfectly calm about changes in his life and me freaking out for no good reason. But this time it did surprise me. I thought I was (somewhat) past getting THIS worked up about a change in HIS life. After all, it's not like he's 1 year old and I'm taking his bottle away. He's going to be 6, starting school, and really beginning the time when his life is his story to tell, not mine. I suppose that's the obvious root of the anxiety.

As if he sensed my uneasiness in the air, on Monday I found Sam ripping apart the "All About Me" poster Ben had made in preschool last year. Of course, he's two and he was just having fun ripping some paper, but only having woken up from a kindergarten stress dream an hour earlier, it seemed so heart-wrenchingly significant to me. Babyhood, toddlerhood and now even preschool are all behind us. Ahead are great things and I cannot wait to see how Ben flourishes in school, because I know he will. But at this moment it just feels like I'm losing my baby.

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