On Monday, Claire will start kindergarten, thus kicking off what we hope to be a solid 13-year career in Austin public education. Including Molly’s future career, this is the start of 16 years of getting people to school on a strict schedule at 7:45 am. No more wandering into day care between 8:00 and 9:00, depending on how things are going that morning. And then there are all the many, many days off, which will no doubt turn into many, many babysitters, grandparent visits, and summer/winter/spring-break camps. Okay, enough about my own reservations about this whole process… Let’s move on to Claire’s!
Actually, Claire is pretty excited about kindergarten but has two main reservations. The first is missing her friends at day care. Claire is well aware that she will not see most of her daycare friends again, and it makes her a little sad. I know this because she told me, “I know I won’t see my day care friends any more, and that makes me sad”. (I am very insightful.) One daycare friend is luckily coming to Claire’s elementary school, but in a different classroom. The rest of the old friends gradually faded away over the last weeks of summer camp back at day care. Claire was just about the last of the core friends left by the end of the summer. It was really a sad process to watch even from a relative distance.
Claire’s other reservation is that “In kindergarten, you have to listen really well. If you don’t listen, you get in trouble. I’m afraid sometimes I won’t listen”, she said tentatively. I’m not sure where this fear comes from, I guess a “warning” about big, mean kindergarten from a teacher or a fellow student back at day care.
Here is another one… Claire is excited that she will learn to read in kindergarten. I told her one night as we were reading before bedtime that she will learn to read some books all by herself in kindergarten. She won’t have to always depend on Kit and me to read everything to her. She liked the idea, but she emphasized that she did not want to read to herself for bedtime. She still wanted her Mom and Dad to read to her every night. Kit and I assured her we would not stop reading to her once she learned to read to herself.
Judging from today’s open house, Claire is also somewhat afraid of being left at kindergarten and not being picked up. This morning, all kids and parents were invited to come see their classroom and meet their new teacher. Claire liked the open house but kept a close eye on me and Kit to make sure we weren’t leaving her there. Today Claire would get to come home and play with Grammy, who was in town for a few days, but Monday it would be a different story. Claire understood she would stay at school without us next week, but she was not ready to be left there alone just yet!