Where to start?
Mads starts school on the 24th. I am in love with the school he will be going to, think his teacher is the bee's knees....and I want to just say forget it all and unschool him! Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for him, excited about the new friends he will make and the new adventures awaiting us. But I am also terrified. All of the usual "What Ifs" are in the back of my mind, but they now have their evil cousin worries - the "How Wills". How will he react to getting up so early? How will I manage working until 1am, getting to bed around 2am, and then getting back up at 6am? How will the other kids react when he wants to wear a tie or mismatched clothes to school (something we have always encouraged was his own sense of style). How will his unique loves and passions be effected by the other kid's influences? How will we continue to raise him to know that pink is not just a girl color, and that boys can be dancers?
How will the other parents react to his mother's quirkiness, his father's quietness, and the not-going-to-offer-the-info-but-I'm-sure-it-will-come-up-eventually fact that we are in the process of divorcing? Is being a single parent just as frowned upon as it was when my mother was trying to raise me "on her own"?
Will the other kids make fun of his bentos? Will he be embarrassed by the handmade scarves I send him to school wearing in the winter? Will I be able to be as active as I hope to be with the PTA and after school activities?
Is it ok that he still forgets all of the letters in his name when asked to recite them? He can recognize it when he sees it already spelled out, but is that enough? Is it ok that he is not reading yet? That he still is learning how to write all of his letters and gets confused at times? Have we done enough to prepare him? I hear so much about Montessori students (which I so wished we had the money to send him to a Montessori school) who are way ahead of him academically. But then I see how curious he is, how creative he is when building and tying things with his toys and laces, and I hear his laughs and the pride in his voice when he completes a page on his GeoSafari Laptop...and I think, maybe we have done enough. He is polite (in general), charmed all of the kids at his preschool, very vocal once he's comfortable in a situation, and knows that his Dad and I love him. Haven't the faceless powers that do the research and reporting written long articles that is not how much a child knows at the start of school, but that they have a desire to know more? That a good nights rest, a healthy breakfast and lots of supportive love are the true Holy Trinity of getting a head in learning?
I know that as a parent, I will always have my days of relaxed confidence and my days of confusion and second (and third, and fourth...) guessing myself. He not only my heart walking around on two legs and greatest achievement, but he is also his own person waiting to discover himself.
With this new part of our life on the horizon, I have so many wonders and hopes. Most of all, I hope that he will always know that I love with unconditionally, and that he will always believe in himself. I look at my own school experiences, and instantly think that I don't want him to make the same mistakes as I did. But how fair is that? Of course I want to see him excel in all aspects, to have many true friends, and always have a confidence and focus that I never seemed to grasp. But without those "learning experiences" of losing a soccer game, having someone not invite you to a party, or having someone say that his backpack isn't cool enough, will he still learn the important lessons of fairness, kindness, and compassion? More importantly, will he understand those lessons? Will he understand why pride can be both a blessing and a burden? Will he know that just because he falls down, knowing that he got back up again will make succeeding so much sweeter?
So many unorganized questions - we will just have to find out the answers as we go. :-)