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Letting Go of Preschool Apprehension

preschooler-585We did it! We signed Evan up for preschool! While I sound excited, I’ve been apprehensive about this step, and I’m questioning if it’s too soon. I find myself looking at my mister and seeing a 7 pound, 8 ounce infant. I notice his daily needs for me, and I am so concerned that they will not be fulfilled. But as I take a deep breath, I think of what preschool has to offer him.

As a single child, Evan’s daily interactions with kids is limited. Sure, he gets a couple of hours at the gym a day, and his ever-growing social calendar is booked with play dates, but the setting is different. There is no structure, no lesson plan, just mostly parallel play. In preschool, he will begin to build the foundation for his lifetime of education. I’m writing this partly to try to convince myself that Jake and I have made the right decision. In my mind, only I can provide what’s best for Evan. Only I can educate him, love him, kiss his boo-boos and answer his curious looks and questions. That may be true, and I may know him best, but I recognize that education is a tree. Just like a tree has many branches, our education stems from more than one branch.

He will have his own cubby, a place to put his belongings and with that, a little responsibility. But it’s a place where he can find comforts of home when I’m gone. In there, I can provide necessities for him; it’s that little bit of control that will ease my mind. Even though it’s as small as providing his diapers and wipes, that’s my job for his class. I’m still included in making sure he has what he needs in there. He will be fed, he will make friends and he will be loved. We chose a place that Evan is no stranger to; a school that is reputable and that nurtures. A place where every child is greeted by the coordinator — who has enjoyed the role for more than 20 years — by name. Where each child matters. I still consider myself a new mom. After all, this is new to me. I don’t mind having my hand held, in fact, I appreciate it. While Jake and I have all the decision-making power, this school has all the knowledge.

I may be nervous, but I’m not uncomfortable. Our role as parents is to provide our children with the best education we can to allow them to grow and flourish intellectually. I now accept that although I will not be teaching his class, we are still providing Evan the education we promised him. Until school starts, I’ll continue to enjoy each day all day I have with him before he’s 13 and doesn’t let me kiss him any more during drop-off.

Were you apprehensive about preschool even though you know you made the right decision? —Jennifer

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