I've been putting off blogging about Jack starting school mostly because I have been in a blissful state of denial but partially because I thought once I started I might have trouble stopping the outpouring of thought. This last week has brought me out of my happy little denial bubble as we have brought shoes and uniform and have started the countdown to D-Day next Monday.
The decision to send Jack to school has been a long one for me. I tossed around the idea of home schooling for a long time and may well have chosen that path except for a few blinding realities:
- He wants to go to school
- AB isn't pro home schooling (except as a last resort)
- I don't feel able to home school both of my children
- Did I mention he wants to go to school
In the end it was his want and character that led me to decide to go down the school path and even though now that it is a mere 4 days away and I am wanting to back peddle at a million miles an hour and keep him home with me. In my heart of hearts I know that for the moment school is the best thing for him and our family.
So what are my concerns?
- That he will be lost in the system
- That the need for him to conform will change who he is
- That he will have a terrible time and come to dislike learning
- That he will become a little robot, or worse he will pick up so much new and unhim behaviors that I won't recognise him anymore
Mostly its about loosing freedom, his and mine. Jack is such a confident little guy and watching him walk his own path in spite of what his peers think is one of his most admirable qualities. I'm scared that school will beat that out of him, I'm scared that his free thinking ways will be lost within the system, I'm scared that he will feel different and have trouble fitting in whilst still being himself and if I'm honest I'm scared of taking this next step towards letting go of my baby and relying on people I don't know to help raise him, inspire him, and show him how the world works.
What if .... In the end its all a what if? And there are no answers to my what if's until we start walking (albeit reluctantly) down the path to school.
I hope that he loves school, I hope he finds his way and grows and learns all the things he hopes to. I hope that his teacher will hold him if he is sad and that he will feel empowered enough to speak up both to his peers and his teachers. I hope that this time next year he is still as free thinking, confident and excited to start back for his second year.
So as my inner self is running around in circles crying "I don't want it, I want my little boy with me! Its to soon, I'm not ready, I want to protect him and enjoy him, I want ...." Its not about me and so my outer self is smiling and being excited with him, its trying to embrace the potential for positive growth, self reliance and knowledge that I hope and pray school is really about.
I try and remind myself that the ability to walk (calmly and confidently) away from me knowing all the while I am still there for him is the biggest gift I can give my children, but I will continue crying on the inside as I say goodbye to my baby in the next of a million little goodbyes before they walk away (calmly and confidently) as an adult.