Monday, September 9, 2013
One more year...
Ella is back in the full swing of the school routine. Jason and I (nervously) dropped her off for pre-k last week. She only has one more year before Kindergarten! She is still going to the same school, just a different classroom this year. It was a decision we went back and forth on for quite some time. She was eligible to start pre-k in our local school district. It's an integrated program and she would be the same school she will attend kindergarten. The option was appealing, but in the end we decided the 22 kid classroom was still a bit too big for Ella. Her new classroom is half the size with just 11 kids. She will still get her PT, OT and speech as well as that extra attention she needs to accomplish her goals.
This is a big year. She has lots of work to do to get ready for Kindergarten. When I met her new teachers, they made it very clear they will do EVERYTHING to make sure she will be ready for the transition. They were confident in their classroom. It was reassuring and terrifying. Following my instinct though, I knew at that moment we were making the right decision. I feel like the pressure is on! Of course, I know Ella doesn't feel this pressure. She is just happy to be back at school and having fun with old and new friends. Jason and I feel the pressure though. We know what is at stake. We want so desperately for Ella to go to kindergarten in a regular classroom and not feel overwhelmed or out of place. She has work to do with her language especially. A year can change a lot....we have seen it time and time again. We are following a bit of an unbeaten path still with Ella, so apprehension certainly sneaks in.
Ella was so happy to get back to school last week but for the first time I saw her get a little uneasy. She wasn't upset and didn't cling to Jason and me, she was just a little more cautious than we are used to seeing her. She was confused not to go to her old classroom. I am sure she felt a little at ease though after a hug from her new teacher.
I walked out nervous for her. I suppose every Mom is nervous for their kids at some point. I spent the entire morning thinking about what she was doing and if she liked her new teachers. I even texted Jason (a lot). He gently reminded me, "she's fine, she's the mayor" (referring to Ella's outgoing personality). I knew despite his calm responses, he was nervous too. I always call him at pick up, on this day I don't even think the phone rang once before he picked up saying, "how did she do?" Crazy parents! I arrived to a very happy girl who seemed like she had been there for weeks. She didn't want to come home. Her teachers say she is doing great and she is fitting in well.
I am learning to let go a little more. I still can't think about kindergarten drop off next year. (Pictures of friends kids make me well up!) It's a good thing I have a year to prepare myself. I am proud of Ella and excited for her future, I just wish time did go so quickly. Time will tell what her kindergarten year will look like. I must remind myself to take a step back and live in the moment.