Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Change in the Parenting Pattern

In the past few weeks I have been thrust into an entirely new dimension.  A new version of parenthood.  One that I knew was coming but it smacked me so hard upside my head that I haven't been able to regain consciousness just yet.

My son started Kindergarten this year and while I was fully aware that this was going to occur, I don't really think I was prepared for it.

I waited until the last minute to get everything done for him.  This was partially because I am the queen of the land called Procrastinationville.  (I tell myself I work at my best under pressure)  But it was also partially because if I didn't take care of anything maybe the reality would not occur.

Logical, right?

Well, it needed to get done and get done, it did. 

My first realization that this was all going to actually happen was standing in the uniform store with my mother and two children.  My son was trying on a sweater vest and I started to cry. 

Now, let's remember, my kid has been in some form of school or daycare since he was 9 weeks old.  NINE WEEKS!  I was not crying because my baby was leaving the nest....far from it.  I was crying for the same reason that I bawled a week later when driving to work and thinking about how he'd be going to school soon- he was growing up. 

I love that my kids are growing up.  I love that they are learning new things and becoming kind and generous individuals (outside of our home).  I love that I don't have diapers in my house anymore and that my children dress themselves- albeit they don't always match.  But when a milestone like this appears, I am quickly thrust back into the early hormonal roller coaster days of new parenthood.

These are uncharted waters we're going through here and I worry that they may start to get choppy.

I bawled on my son's first day of school.  I tried my best to really hold it together.  I didn't want him to be worried that this was going to be hard or be afraid of a new school.  But apparently, my best at holding together is not all that great because I was a mess. 

My son?  Not so much.

His teacher stopped me in the hallway a few days later to see how I was doing and we laughed about the fact that this was not about him going off to school, per se.  She told me that I was the first parent in YEARS to cry on the first day of Kindergarten.  And then she told me that it was refreshing because it is such a monumental moment.

Last night was Back to School Night for my son.  And I managed to only tear up two or three times.  No weeping this time around.

Tomorrow night is another meeting at his school for a fun

But I'm in this world that I've really only seen from either the outside or the teacher side.  This world of parenthood is completely different from anything I've know yet. 

I don't know how to be a PTA mom, and I'm not sure I want to know.

I can't be the Home and School mom who organizes the gift wrap sale.  I mean I can, but I don't think I want to be.

Room mother really doesn't appeal to me.

Thank God there are parents that want those jobs because right now, I just don't know where I fit into this stage of parenting.

I never thought about the changing dimensions of parenthood and I certainly never expected to be this emotional. 

I guess in the end it becomes about your child weathers these changes.  My son, in his classroom on his first day as I was crying, patted me on the shoulder, gave me a kiss and told me it was all going to be ok.

Clearly, something is being done right!


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