By Janine Paschal
Every parent feels a range of emotion when their children reach important milestones. We are the same time excited, proud and anxious. This was certainly the case when I took our youngest, 4-year-old Anna, to register for kindergarten last spring. Just thinking about my baby becoming a kindergartner brought out all of those emotions as well as a little disbelief that we are here already.
I am excited for Anna to begin this next stage of her life. I am excited that she will participate in a general education classroom. I am excited that she will get to experience the same school that her older brother and sister attended as they had very positive experiences there. I am excited that so many new people will enter Anna’s life and that she will learn from them and, hopefully, teach them as well. I am excited about the opportunities that are waiting for her.
I am proud that Anna is a happy, outgoing, inquisitive little girl. I am proud that she has done well in both a community preschool and her ECSE preschool that have helped her get ready for kindergarten. I am proud that we have a supportive network of people who are watching and helping as we prepare for this big step in Anna’s education.
I am anxious that Anna will do well, that she will make friends, that she will be accepted. I am anxious to see how she will perform in a classroom full of 5 year olds who are all exploring this new environment together.
And now, as I anticipate the first day of kindergarten, just days away now, I can’t help wondering at the same time how Anna grew up so quickly and what has happened to my baby?