I know what you’re thinking…didn’t he already do kindergarten. Yes, yes he did, but not in French.
When I asked the school about the prospect of moving him ahead a grade they were less than convinced so we are hoping that French Immersion provides enough challenge to keep him out of trouble. Besides, we like the idea of him being bilingual – just in case Daddy gets a job conducting a French Opera company and we have to move to Paris….just in case.
So how did today go?
Well…let me begin by saying that here in BC they have switched to full-day kindergarten. To “ease” the transition they have come up with a gradual entry system. So today, we went for 45 minutes…as Jakob will tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, finally increasing it incrementally until next Friday when they finally make it for the whole day. Clearly, whoever thought of this system is not a parent…or is the parent of one child and doesn’t work or have any other commitments.
My children do well without me. Last year, I dropped Jakob off at school and said, “Love you. See you at three!” And he did GREAT! Never skipped a beat. This year, not.so.much. He was fine in the class but outside there was flopping down on the ground when introductions were made and constant “I’m tired.” It could be a long two weeks.
I am hoping the teacher’s french also improves with time and she is just pulling out her best Stephen Harper impersonation for the sake of clarity…if it is indeed his teacher, which nobody can seem to confirm.
I don’t think we are at Sancton Wood anymore Toto. Sigh. I know it will be great. I know that once he is in there all day and making friends he will thrive, until then, I admit, I need to…adjust my outlook. Private school was a luxury we could afford for but a year and now he has a great foundation to build on but in reality, public school scares me.
In Cambridge, I rarely, if ever, felt peer pressure. All the children wore the same thing, and most didn’t know what hockey was. There was an understanding that we were all at that school because we wanted to give our children the best educational experience we could.
But here in the Lower Mainland of BC it’s different – even as we were picking out new shoes for school and Jakob selected the supercool light up light sabre running shoes, a part of me wanted to urge him to select the DC skate shoes instead. That is what the cool kids will be wearing and I don’t want them to think he is not cool enough to play with them. Like last week, when he was in the park and some boys asked him if he knew what Pokemon cards were. He, of course said no, to which they replied, “Come on, let’s go.”
As a parent we want to protect our children. Protect them from what if feels like to be left out, hurt, rejected or bullied. But we also want them to be free to make their own decisions and be their own person, not the kid we think is the coolest or smartest or the best hockey player. We want them to know how to defend themselves in a healthy and appropriate manner. We want them to know how to resolve conflict and maturely work with people they may not like or get along with.
I fear the day that Jakob looses his innocence. While I am a little biased, he truly is one of the most compassionate children I have known. He is kind and gentle and does his best to do what is right and I feel that the chances of him remaining like that into adulthood are slim.
Being a parent is hard, but being a kid is harder. I know, I’ve done it. And perhaps that is just what I have to keep reminding myself of. God will protect him. He will protect Ella, I know he will because I pray it everyday, and if there is anything I have learned from potential train wreck of a life, that is all you can do. You can tell them all the right things, buy them all the right clothes, put them in all the right activities, but at the end of the day, it is the grace of God that will sustain them and protect them.