Monday, September 5, 2011

Suddenly, Kindergarten!

It's been a while so I thought I should attempt to update this thing, especially considering the new and exciting chapter our family has entered into - Kindergarten! No, not all of us although I do get those anxiety dreams every now and then in which I'm forced to redo some year of school due to a technicality. My oldest child, my little man, my Benjamin has started kindergarten. He has already completed his first week. As you might guess, this milestone has me feeling a whole mess of emotions. I can't help but get a little misty-eyed when I see Ben in his too-big backpack, standing in his class line as they prepare to enter his classroom. He blows me kisses and waves when they start marching in. On the first day, he almost didn't make it into the building with the rest of the kids because he broke away from the line to give Ethan and I another kiss and hug goodbye. How does one NOT tear up in the face of such sweetness?

Ben and I are also feeling some anxiety. For Ben, he's learning that he needs to complete things in a set amount of time; something that is causing him some frustration according to his teacher. He's always been a slow eater and he hates leaving a project before he's decided he's finished. As of Friday, however, he's shown a lot of improvement in this area. He's also feeling anxious regarding the social aspect of school which also happens to be the part that's causing ME the most anxiety as well. Ben is a very sweet kid. He's very affectionate and he loves to play with other kids. He also tends not to realize when he's being picked on. I've witnessed this on several occasions, the most recent of which happened at the play area at McDonald's. A rather large family came in and the kids in that family immediately started picking on Benjamin. The youngest of the brood (a little girl about Ben's age) even took to hitting and slapping him. Ben was upset but he still wanted to play with them. It was heart-breaking and I ended up "rescuing" Ben and going home. I worry how he'll be treated at school. I worry because I remember vividly how much I hated those first school years because of the maliciousness of my classmates and I hope with all my heart that Ben has a better time of it. I also worry just as much and possibly more that Ben's sweetness will dissipate and he'll become one of the mean kids. Actually, that definitely worries me more. I can't stand the thought of either of my kids as bullies. There's a strength to be gained from overcoming the taunts of others but I have no idea what, if anything, a bully gains in life.

Because Ben is in school now, it means that Ethan and I get one on one time. It didn't occur to me until the first day I dropped Ben off that Ethan and I never had that kind of time since he's the second child and all. As much as I miss having Ben around, I'm looking forward to this time with Ethan. As long as I'm still unemployed (boooooo!) we'll get to pal around just the two of us (yay!).
I've already experienced the profound miracle that is shopping with only one child in tow. The difference was amazing. I felt like I was cheating the system or something, it was so easy. It'll be great to go to a park without feeling like I need iguana eyes to keep track of two kids who never seem to want to go in the same direction.

This should be a pretty exciting time and even though I occasionally have episodes of "oh my god my baby is in school"-induced madness, I'm looking forward to what comes.