Last night I sat in a small auditorium at our school district’s headquarters with a bunch of other mommies and daddies. As I waited for the program to start, I watched everyone around me shuffle papers, take out notebooks and iPads and pens, and get ready for what was probably the very first ‘school meeting’ we had ever attended for our babies. We were there to listen to an administrator for the school district talk to us about the tuition based preschool program they offer. Preschool in our local elementary school.
We’re talking REAL school. REAL lockers and music classes, and art classes and PE. REAL field trips and curriculum and a school lunch line. As I’m sitting there listening to the information, they’re showing photos on the screen from the kids who participated in previous years … and I’m tearing up. I can not even FATHOM that my baby is big enough for this type of thing. Am I ready for him to go on field trips? For another adult not related to me to be taking him to the Fort Worth Zoo? Am I ready for him to be coming home every day with a backpack, and possible homework activities? Am I ready for him to have field day, and parent-teacher conferences and lunch money?
No, no I’m not. But that’s not going to stop me from entering him into the lottery for this program. Oh yes, there are only 60 spots (20 spots at 3 elementary schools in our district) and there are so many people who want in they have to go through a lottery to get in. People from outside our district apply as well, although as residents we get first dibs. It would be AMAZING if we could get a spot at all, but even more amazing if we could get our first pick school … which happens to be exactly 2 blocks from our home.
We won’t find out until the beginning of April if he’ll get a spot, and if so with what school … so I have until then to both worry about him NOT getting a spot, and also worrying about him actually GETTING a spot and growing up too fast. 95% of the kids who are in the program go into Kindergarten being able to read. Admittedly, I know nothing about elementary curriculum, but I feel like that is a CRAZY high percentage. It never even occurred to me that he could be ‘reading’ by 4 years old (and when I say ‘reading’ I mean reading ‘sight’ words).
Slow down, little Mouse. Your mommy can’t keep up. And it hurts her heart.