Helping our kids grow up

It has been nearly two months since ivy went to kindergarten last. She find pleasure in it every time she goes, but we struggle with some separation anxiety, which is more intense than two years ago. The fears are more acute. She is more stubborn and aware. 

We tested both girls for covid, as is the procedure. Both were negative. As we informed ivy that today is a school day she starts wailing. First she was in disbelief, then she debated the reality, and tried to convince us that we talked about it and said she doesn’t have to go. 

Ivy really wailed all morning and we kept out kind cool. I held her. I listened to her rants. My warmth felt like the perfect context for her to offload. And that’s ok. As she was howling I told her i understand she doesn’t want to go. Suddenly she stopped and asked with a clear crisp voice: “that means I don’t have to go?” – no, I said. You are still going. I’m just telling you I hear your plea. But kindergarten is part of growing up and you will go. We have skipped most of the year so far. And we need to work and she is getting bored. “I’ll try hard not to be bored! I’ll miss you! I’ll miss daddy. I’ll miss Rufus, I want to stay home”

Conrad ended up dropping her off. She clung on to his legs before he peeled her off; and ran out of the kindergarten the moment she saw the door open after she made it in. It must have been a spectacle. But she is stubborn and gives us little credit; she lacks a solid term of comparison. School provides a healthy reality check for kids. When we protected them of all discomfort we limit their ability to grow strong, to believe in themselves, to test their own limits.

Of course, as I picked ivy up she says kindergarten was great. She cried at first, because it was the first day, but she it was a good day and she like it. She’ll go again. By the look of this morning, you would have thought we were the worst parents. I admit I enjoyed my morning sans kids. The first morning in two months with both of them in school. I am only beginning to taste the productivity and focus without their proximity. I look forward to an even more independent future.