Yes. It’s true! Tuesday was Ezekiel’s first day of 4K! Many of you have been asking about it after seeing his sudden school pictures pop up on my IG Story, so I thought I’d share a little (errrr a lot) about how this all came to be! I know several moms who’ve found it difficult to decide if/where/when they should enroll their pre-kinders… So I don’t think I’m the only one who had such a tough time committing to a solid plan!
First off — this was a total last-minute decision after an entire summer of contemplating several variables. Just practically speaking, Ezekiel is an early-October baby, so he misses Oregon’s age requirement (5 yrs) for Kindergarten by just 34 days, and the early admission application requirement by just 4 days, yet he’s learned most of which is taught in pre-school already so… therein lies a dilemma. On top of that, Z has been totally against the idea of going to school PERIOD – in fact – the mentioning of such absurdities over the last 2 years would often melt him down to a pool of tears. And this is where the not-so-practical variables come into play.
Ever since being separated from me for some 2.5 months while Cruz was in the hospital, Ezekiel has dealt with mild-to-severe separation anxiety, and he developed a couple nervous tics as well. That said, both of these issues have been almost unnoticeable since baby Valor arrived, and the only time his anxiety would typically surface was when he’d think about going to school. “I’m never going to school, I’m never going to college like Uncle Austin, I’m never getting married like you and daddy did, because I already told you I’m living with you forever and ever!“, he’d cry.😊 Although it was cute/sweet to hear such innocent declarations, it was hard to console him without promising an unrealistic lifetime of never leaving my side😰😂 The most surprising/unexpected of all his bawling sessions was a couple months ago while we were watching Goofy (the one where his son, Max, moves out to go live on-campus) and suddenly he was shedding crocodile tears all over the couch and asking why life had to be this way😆 I’m sure his responses are totally normal to a degree, but I’ve had to be extra sensitive with these meltdowns because of his insecurities that stem from grief and abandonment anxiety. Do I attempt to teach him at home even though I KNOW I don’t have the right temperament whatsoever, or do I force him to leave every day and risk adding even more emotional stressors???
After months and months of feeling torn between homeschooling and private school, a new school arrived on the scene. I’m sure those that know me personally (and the ins/outs of how this school came to be) might make their own assumptions about why it feels “right”, but all familiarities and connections set completely aside, I was still skeptical until I found out the name of this new school was VALOR! For some reason this seemingly-insignificant coincidence was all it took to tip the scales of my conflicted heart, and plans to enroll Ezekiel in 2017 were set in place, regardless of whether he wanted to go or not. I guess sometimes we just need a tiny seal of confirmation to nudge us down an unfamiliar path.
BUT THENNNNN…. Ezekiel suddenly flipped the switch on us last week when we spontaneously toured “next year’s” classrooms! He got to see where his desk would be, he played in the Kinetic sand boxes, met most of the school staff… and I saw his face light up like a Christmas tree! 😍🎄 “Mom, I want to go to school now, when I’m 4 !” he said, while not breaking eye-contact with a stuffed animal he’d grown rather attached to. Next thing I knew, I was closing down Target on Labor Day trying to find school supplies off of picked-over shelves that looked like they’d been pillaged by ransacking thieves lol. And although he started out the year with the wrong-sized supply box and zero “Tyconderoga” pencils 😳 (among several other things), what mattered to me was that he walked into that room full of new faces with confidence and excitement, and he came home bursting at the seams with fun tidbits about his day, listing off a series of names that belonged to the new friends he had made.
I’m still shocked that he’s officially in school right now, and as I sit here typing the house is unusually quiet… but my heart – and most importantly his heart – is happy! “Ahhhhh”, [as I take a sweet sigh of relief] I’ve finally found peace-of-mind when it comes to his education vs. well-being 😌 I thought being away from him would be hard, but it’s surprising how easy it is to let someone go from 8-3 when you’re used to missing someone who never comes home 💙
Now the question is, how’s Valor gonna do without his daytime playmate!? So far, he’s needed a LOT more attention from Mama, which is why it’s taken me two days to draft this short little update 😜 Oh that #momlife…
I hope everyone’s back-to-school week has been nice to you! Stay strong, the weekend is near!
“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Eph. 4:32