Friday, August 29, 2014

On Orientation

Today was kindergarten orientation for the Little Lady.

And all of a sudden I have two kids in elementary school.

I think it is safe to say that I operate on a daily basis with a fair share of anxiety. I think it is also fair to say that all the unlike two years ago when I took the same bus route to the same school with the Lady, that some of the anxiety was lessened today.

Yes, the Little Lady is my second, is a different personality than her big sister, and this isn't her first time in "school" or away from home. She started in a 2s program, made her way through pre-school, summer camp, drop off playdates and parties. She warms up a bit sooner to new experiences and people, but she has also been exposed to more situations than her sister ever was at her age.

I know that the amount of concern/anxiety/typical mom craziness I feel about sending my kids out the door is the same as it was for her sister. I am still anxious for her, for those mornings on the bus trying to find a seat, for a classroom full of faces and names she doesn't yet know, for all those hours where she will be part of something much bigger than she ever has. Will they know that even though she is quick to anger that it is fleeting? Will they know that behind a sometimes stubborn stance is a very sweet, incredibly funny, little girl who brings me such joy?

Her teacher seems super nice. She is experienced, she has a guitar, there are yoga poses hanging on a poster on the wall, she screams kindergarten, but will she cherish my little girl? I still have all those questions and we will see how this year plays out, but the thing that is different this time around is me.

I am no longer new mom. I am seasoned mom. I am (dare I say it?) confident mom. When the Lady started school, it was like I started too, I had to find some mom friends, I had to figure out how the school and the bus and the schedules worked. I fretted over packing the right snacks and how many things I should volunteer for. I wanted to do everything I could to make her transition smoother, but at the same time I was having a hard time orienting myself.

It was all so unknown.

And now its not. And that makes a huge difference.

Today, I gave a mom sitting next to me my phone number when she asked if she could call me with any questions. I have no idea what her name is, but her daughter sits at the Little Lady's table. Will she call? Probably not, but I am sure it makes her feel better knowing that there is someone she can if she needs too. I am happy to make things easier, to ease another mom's anxiety, to describe what my experience has been so that they don't have to start off feeling so untethered.

"It is hard giving up your children," the Little Lady's teacher said this morning. Indeed it is.

I will still cry in the car as I follow the bus to school on the first day because it is a new beginning and my babies! My babies! But I know I can handle it. I know they are in an environment where they can thrive, and I know that I have given them what they need in order to do so.

I like being this kind of mom.