Tomorrow T starts school.
Initially I didn't have any immediate worries about enrolling him in school at this age. I always knew that it was something he would likely enjoy, and I still think it is. But as time has passed and we have crept closer and closer to the big day, I've been flooded with a mixed bag of emotions that I didn't really expect. I thought it would be easy to let him go. I truly underestimated how it would affect me, of all people.
For the last 3 years of his life T has spent virtually every day all day by my side. We have hardly been separated more than a few hours at most. He is my little sidekick. It's hard to imagine that we have been that inseparable, but we have. Even when I went to the hospital to give birth to F, T was only away from me for about 5hrs. I put him to bed as usual and F was born in the middle of the night, and we were home by lunchtime. So there was never a long period of separation. During any other times where we have been apart for a few hours or more, he has been with Tyler or at the very least another family member.
Starting tomorrow he will be with strangers for 3 hours every morning, 5 days a week.
I mean, c'mon. It's only 3 hours. Pull yourself together Mommy!
I know that first day will be fine. I will leave him there and he won't notice. Maybe he'll ask for me after a bit but with some reassurance will be fine. The second day will be ok too I'm sure. But what about the third, or fourth, or tenth days? What happens when he realizes that he will be there every day? Will he be sad that he's not with us? Will he miss all the things that we used to do together? I know in my heart that he will probably be enjoying himself so much and that it is really me who will miss those things.
He will be in school for the mornings, which is when we tend to plan all our other activities like going to active tots or the Early Years Centre, or playdates with our friends. I am really sad that he won't be there with us anymore. I know that there will be opportunities to do those activities or similar ones in the afternoon too, but it's harder because naptime tends to mean there is less time to go out and do things in the afternoons before having to rush home for dinner. I'm hoping some of our friends will still be up for afternoon playdates so that T can still see his little buddies.
I have planned some fun stuff for him. There is an all sport program for 3-5 year olds at the Y on Monday afternoons, and I have registered him for another Y program called creating balance which will be on Thursday afternoons. Plus he is going to be in rhythmic gymnastics on Saturday mornings.
I am also thinking about how mine and F's routines will be affected as well. Now when I drop F off at the childminder's at the Y so I can go to my spinning class, he will be all alone, without his big brother to reassure him. That makes me sad. He already has such a hard time going there as it is.
But I have to look at the plus side as well. I know T will love school and learn so much there. I am also looking forward to spending one on one time with F, who hasn't gotten any of it in his little life so far. It will also be nice to do activities and not have to have my eyes on two little toddlers for a change. So there are lots of benefits as well.
I think the initial adjustment will be the hardest, figuring everything out as we get used to our new routine. But once we settle into it everything will be fine.
For T's last full day with us we went to the EYC this morning, because once he starts school he won't get to go there much anymore. We had really nice morning there playing with the other kids. After the boys nap I have to run out to pick up a few things from the store, so we'll try to make that a fun outing as well.
I'm excited, I really am. I'm a bit sad and nervous too, but those feelings are only natural I think. Tomorrow is going to be a great day, and in a way I can't wait to drop my Big Guy off and see him begin this new phase of his life, even if I'm holding back the tears as I see him walk through those doors.