April 1, 2015

I Wasn't Prepared For That

Last week we registered Kendall, our first born, for Kindergarten.  I capitalize the K because it's THAT important to me, in my life, right now.  It's a proper noun.

I haven't talked much about Kindergarten and whether or not we'd be sending her this year {she has a mid-August birthday} because I really didn't know myself. Jimmy and I had several conversations regarding it.  Weighed the pros and cons of both options.  I talked to her teachers at conference time and got their opinions.  I chatted with other moms who have a similar situation, got their input.  I talked to older moms, who had to make the same decision at one point.  I read blog articles.  Anytime anyone wrote something on Facebook I scrolled through each and every comment, reading opinions on both sides.  

All that to say.  I still couldn't decide what was right for our girl.  

She's smart.  Academically she is r-e-a-d-y for Kindergarten.   She knows her letters, the sounds they make, uppercase vs lowercase, can count to 30 {and higher when she wants but 30 is solid}, she colors inside the lines, writes her own name {first and last}, she can skip, hop on one foot, throw a ball, and everything else their supposed to know going into Kindergarten.  

She's there socially.  She talks very well, better than a lot of other kids her age.  She expresses her feelings, knows how to interact with other kids, she's empathetic, she knows right from wrong.  In new situations or groups of people she can come off shy but once she warms up everyone sees how fun and spunky and lively she is.  She's the type of person that you want to be around because she just makes you smile easily.  

But I already knew all of that.  

At parent-teacher conferences I asked her teachers for their input and without hesitation they said, "send her".  As a matter of fact they went on to say that they have nothing to offer her if she stays in preschool another year.  


For some reason I couldn't do it.  I couldn't make the phone call to the elementary school to set up an appointment for registration.  I prayed that God would show me the way.   I was waiting for a sign, in either direction, to tell me if she should move on or repeat a 3rd year of preschool. Registration was open for a week and two days when I got my sign.  

Kendall never protests going to school.  She is always happy go to, can't wait to see her friends, and will even ask {every day}, "is today a school day?!"  So when she said, "WHY do I have to go to school today!?"  I was surprised.  I asked her why she didn't want to go this day and her answer was my sign I was looking for.

"Because we do the same stuff all the time."

I got it.  She's bored.  She's ready for more.  

So one week and two days after registration began I picked up the phone, "Hi, I'd like to register my daughter for Kindergarten." 

I made the phone call and felt fine about it.  I didn't have a lump in my throat.  I didn't have reservations about it.  I was confident that we were making the right decision for our girl.  As a matter of fact, when I told her she said, "can we go NOW?".  She's so excited to be starting.

What I was not prepared for were all the feelings that flooded my entire body during registration.  

We walked into the multipurpose room and when we walked up to the table they didn't speak to me anymore.  They asked HER all the questions.  They took HER go get signed in.  They handed me a packet to fill out and sent me down the hall. I'm used to being the one to answer the questions and give the info and in that moment it hit me, we've entered a whole new phase.

No longer will I be 'Shannon'.  From now on I'll be 'Kendall's Mom'.  She's becoming her own person.  She's going to have her own friends outside of my friends kids.  She's growing up.  

On top of all of those emotions I realized how big of a deal this is TO HER.  After I collected my girl and they told me she did "great" on her pre-screening, we went to the bathroom.  As I watched my baby girl, barely able to reach the knobs on the sink to wash her hands, two "big girls" came in and smiled at us.  It was then that I could literally feel my heart ache.  

She'll be going to school with 4th and 5th graders.  These girls seem so grown up and mature to me.  They seem like BIG GIRLS and made my girl seem so very small.  And I couldn't help but pray.  I prayed that they would be kind to her, that they would help her if she looked lost or scared.  That they would take her under their wings and show her where the bathrooms are if she got lost.  I prayed that they would smile at her and make her feel welcome.  I prayed for my sweet, little girl.  That she would be brave.  That she wouldn't be afraid of new things.  That she would feel confident walking through these unfamiliar halls.  I prayed for her safety.  I just prayed.  

I felt tears well up in my eyes as we were walking through those locker filled hallways {she's going to have a locker, people!!!  And lunch money!!!}.  I wanted to cry, I did, and I wanted to grab my girl and say, "are you sure you don't want to repeat another year of preschool?!"  I'm not usually an emotional mom.  I don't want to keep all of the crafts that she's ever made.  I didn't cry when she took her first steps or said her first word.  I don't get choked up over most things.  But this?  This felt like someone was literally ripping my heart into two pieces and I wanted to big, fat, ugly cry.

But I realized while I was praying for her to be brave, I also needed to be brave.  So I didn't cry, I didn't try to convince her to change her mind.  I just listened as she told me about her assessment and how she's so excited for Kindergarten next year. As a matter of fact, when she woke up for school the following day, she asked if she were going to Kindergarten now.  

This has been months of debating but I finally feel confident in our decision to send her next year.  I think she's ready for more and I think she'll thrive in Kindergarten.  It also helps that our school district only does 3.5 days a week for Kindergarten so the transition won't be that big for her.  

I, on the other hand, will be a blubbering mess.  Let's just hope I can keep it together until she gets out of the car.  


  1. gaaah- This post made me cry and remember Carter's registration. I am not an emotional mom either but sending them off to school breaks me down. Head high mom, Kendall's got this... and your friends will be here to listen an feel your pain.

  2. This totally made me tear up!! I'm going to be a mess when Nora starts in 1 year and a bit. It sounds like Kendall is totally prepared and ready to go - and now you get to be an awesome Kindergarten Mom :)

  3. GAH! This brought tears to my eyes as we are in the same position! Our daughter turns 5, end of July and we debated all year long whether we should send her to Kindergarten. We have decided to send her and I already am feeling anxiety at just the thought of sending her off into the big building with all the big kids. I think though, what brings me peace of mind is knowing that she is ready and it sounds like Kendall is as well- know that you have done all you can do and now it's her turn to fly, so to speak. :) Good luck on this journey, I probably will be right there with ya, a blubbering mess on the first day of Kindergarten!

  4. oh what a big step. How exciting!

  5. Gah, shouldn't have read this. Haha. We will be in the same boat next year with adelle since her birthday is mid September, and I'm already stressing out about it. That's awesome that your district is only 3 half days. Ours is 5 full days :( I'm thinking maybe we will send her to a school with open enrollment. Do you know what all they have to know for their "readiness assessment"? I've tried looking online but can't find any info.

  6. Well done momma, you are already being strong! And the next few months are a good time frame to prep you for the big step... I can tell you right now that you will both be A-OK!! x

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    1. Oh, excuse me, did I EVER say she was gifted? Or a genius? I don't think so. I said she knows what she needs to know to start kindergarten. That is all. I'm sorry you're so miserable in your life that you feel the need to come here and nit-pick my every word. What a sad, boring life you must live.