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Baby goes to kindergarten PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, September 06, 2011 8:17 AM

So, I have some exciting news to share. I had a baby yesterday! And that’s not all. She’s like the most genius baby ever because she’s already in kindergarten.

Okay, I really had a baby five years ago but it seems like yesterday. And as I was walking my “baby” to school the first day of kindergarten, it was all very surreal. “Surreal” is the only word I can think of to describe this – any of this, really. Any of my life in the past few years. I mean, when did this happen? I just gave birth to her! I remember the PAIN of just giving birth to her! How can she be walking next to me with the dragon backpack that she picked out, excited to start at the “big” school when I was just changing her diaper yesterday?

I think they call this a nervous breakdown.
I’m totally proud of her and excited to see what happens next in each stage of her growth and development on every level, yet there is a part of me that feels, well, sad. And then I wonder, ‘Did I play with her enough? Did I spend as much time with her as I could have? Am I a good mom? What if she says a bad word at school? What if she talks about”anatomy” on the playground? What if, what if, what if?’

I try to reason with myself that these thoughts are normal and every parent undergoes this mental line of questioning. It still just kicks in every now and then, especially when there’s a big change like this — the insecurity and self-doubt that I could possibly raise someone to be a decent human being. I initially experienced this sheer terror after having Adele, when the nurses sent me home from the hospital with her, and I was like, “Are you sure? You’re sure about this? You’re just letting me take this home?” This is what I’m somewhat feeling now, only instead of being afraid of being responsible for a tiny baby, I’m afraid of how my parenting might be reflected when she’s at school. I know she’s already been to preschool but this is all day. It’s different from having her here all the time, which is when my over-analytical brain starts working and wondering if I did enough with her when she just mine — all mine.

I didn’t cry when we dropped her off, though everyone said I would. She did seem nervous and I can still remember how I felt the first day of kindergarten. I just wanted to tell her that no matter what happens, it will all be okay. Instead, I took a lot of pictures.
On the way home from taking her to school, my mind propelled from now to junior high and then high school and then graduation and then college, her wedding day — it just seems as if time goes so fast! And you can’t stop it. This is when I cried, not when I said goodbye but once we were home and it just hit me. Tears that were a mixture of happy, sad and proud.

Adele has finished her second week of kindergarten now and she loves it. Every day she talks nonstop about what they ate, drank, how they played, what they learned. I really do miss her when she’s gone. But I know she’s in a great environment with an amazing teacher and principal and I am not worried at all about that. Any anxiety I have ever had has always revolved around doubting my own capabilities as a parent. I want to be the best parent I can be. After the first day, then week, then couple of weeks of kindergarten, though, I feel pretty reassured that I’ve done a decent job so far.
Now my 2-year-old, on the other hand. ...

Sara Berelsman lives in Delphos with her husband and their two daughters. She teaches college English and literature courses and loves everything about fall.


Last Updated on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 4:12 PM

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