Monday, August 07, 2006

Turn and face the strain

Cathy Seipp once remarked that she couldn't understand women who cry when they send their children off for their first day of school, that instead of being sad, they should feel like they've accomplished their duties and deserve a sense of satisfaction for a job well done.

Well, I don't mind feeling misunderstood. I have been crying all summer at the prospect of sending my little girl to public school kindergarten. Full day kindergarten, mind you. A week from today that day is upon us, and I still tear up thinking about it.

It's not the fact that she's growing up that gets me. Heavens, no. I find child-rearing more enjoyable the older she gets. We're both excited about the new experiences and adventures she has before her. It's the fact that I have to let her go--make that shove her--into childhood's fiercest jungle.

While some have nothing but fond memories of those early days, mine are, uh, less than fond. For instance, one of two kids in my first grade class did not get invited to Suzie Q's birthday party. And the other one wore thick glasses and--I think--training pants. I still feel nothing but confusion about that.

Then there's not being able to run to the top of the slide without using my hands. Sorry -- club membership denied.

There are all kinds of stories like that fill my memory book and I attribute some of them to my introverted personality, which my daughter seems to have inherited. So sending her to the lion's den does not really excite me the way it might --oh, an ex-cheerleader or ex-basketball star.

Public school -- make that any school--will certainly educate her in the law of the jungle, which she'll need if she's to become Tarzan. I get that. I also get that vaccinations will protect her from measles, mumps and rubella, but I still cried holding her down--as she writhed underneath me--while the nurse stuck that needle in.

2 Comments:

Anonymous kathy said...

wah! I didn't know k-garten was so sad for you! But I think it's different for everyone. I was an introvert too and had few friends, but I didn't want many so I didn't mind or notice really. I think Emma will have lots of fun and many triumphs along with the inevitable crashes. We will NEED REPORTS.

7:32 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Well, thank you. It wasn't kindergarten per se, but school in general. I have the feeling that after the first day, I'll feel a lot better!

10:22 AM  

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