It’s been a busy fall for me and my family. I never considered how stressful it would be to send my son to school for Kindergarten. It helped that he was really excited about it–not ever a hesitation or clinging to mom and dad. Melissa insisted on walking him to his classroom for the first week, although Wesley would have found his way even without the accompaniment. It made his mom feel better, though.
The bigger surprise was a few weeks later, when the principal called us (first piece of weirdness) and suggested that Wesley move to the 1st grade. This shouldn’t have totally shocked us, since we knew he was reading at a high level. But we still felt it was better for him to progress through school with others at his own age level. And typically, parents who want to advance their children have to push hard against a reluctant administration.
But in this case, the school had evaluated Wesley, both academically and emotionally, and they decided he was ready for 1st grade. Suddenly, we had a slew of parental worries: what if he’s the shortest kid in school when he’s in high school? what if we move to another school district where he’s not so advanced? do we really want him to leave home a year earlier when he finishes high school? In the end, we felt that the school officials were right, and that it was better for him to be with people at his same level of performance, despite the fact that he’s a few months younger than most of them. This was a very individual decision. The hardest part about it was that we’re not the pushy kind of parents that insist on our child being #1 in everything. It just turned out that this was the best choice for Wesley.
Xander, who is now about 10 months old, is starting to walk (6 steps at a time), and he’s more mobile than ever. His favorite food is cardboard, and he’ll attack a cereal box with great ferocity. He screams when we try to remove the paper pieces from his mouth. If you’ve never tried to take something from an infant’s mouth (especially one who has teeth), I’d be happy to give you a chance to experience it.
Zach is adjusting to his big brother being away from home during the day. He’s in a preschool program a few times a day, and is also learning how to play with his younger brother in a less destructive way.
I’m taking some little steps in life, too, applying to full-time jobs across the country. I have no idea where we might end up, since geographic mobility is pretty much required if you’re looking for a job right now. Also, we’re ready to take our family on a new adventure, if we get that opportunity. It’s just starting to sink in that our life will be really different in about 6-7 months, no matter what happens. I’ve really enjoyed the hard work of school. Many days I’m gone from home for more than 12 hours, and the whole day is filled with group meetings, work, and classes. Other days, however, I can stay home for my son’s birthday party, and I can walk Wesley to school a few times a week. I will certainly miss that flexibility, but I’m also looking forward to discovering a new environment for my family. Oh, and it would also be nice to have an income again. (Not that I’m not grateful for the subsidized student loan, Uncle Sam!)