Today I took my kid for his kindergarten assessment. Of course, he aced it, and scored quite high. He was able to recognize sounds, letters, colors, write his name, cut with scissors etc… thanks to his gifted pre K teacher and of course,.. (ahem…) me. My husband (a gifted mathematical, linear thinker) and I ( who is a pretty good speller and wordsmith) always said if our kid was born with his math skills and my language skills, he’d be well off.
If he was born with my math skills and my husband’s language skills, he’d be screwed.
But I digress….
The bonus of my child starting kindergarten is that he will attend the school where I teach. Today I took him around the school and showed him my classroom. He was thrilled when he saw his picture on my desk. He was equally as thrilled to raid my candy jar. (the one I use to bribe kids to do their homework). He’s been to my classroom before, but this is the first time it really clicked for him that he will BE a student at the school in the fall. He will be a big boy at a big boy school.
I made the choice two years ago to transfer schools so I could be at the same school as my kid. The school I currently teach at is in our district (the other school I worked at was not). I had a grand master plan… to set myself up by securing a teaching job at the school in order to be there when it was time for L to attend. The stars and moon aligned and I took the plunge. It was difficult to leave a school and coworkers who saw me through marriage, the birth of my son and the death of my father. They are/were family. After all, I spent a decade with them.
But, it was time to move on. It was time to put my family first.
I consider having my kid at my school one of the few perks of my job. I know not everyone would agree. But for me, it’s a sound choice. I have struggled with working mother guilt for the past five years. I vowed to never miss a first day of school, a Christmas concert or field trip. By teaching at the same school my child attends, I am afforded these luxuries for at least the next 6 years.
My son (who just turned five) loves being with my husband and me. The feeling is mutual. He has gotten into the habit of climbing into our bed in the wee hours of the morning. I don’t bother to drag him back to his own room at 3 am. This has also turned into him just plopping himself into our bed at bedtime. And to be honest I don’t really stop him then either.
Before I get blasted about the ills of this habit, I have one thing to say.
My kid is a developmentally ‘normal’ kid. He won’t be little forever. There will be a day when he ignores me and stays in his room. I know those days are coming faster than I’d care to admit.
While it may not be an ideal sleeping arrangement, it is what it is. My kid feels safe and secure. He is happy. And sometimes he wants to be in his big boy bed. And that’s ok too.
After all, at the end of my days do I want to look back and say “I’m glad I followed the parenting rules by the book and listened to total strangers tell me how to correctly parent my kid” or do I want to say “I’m glad we cuddled, giggled and savored these precious moments”.
I choose the latter.