Earlier this week Georgia told me she had this kindergarten thing down. I mean after all, mastering the Pledge of Allegiance was her barometer for success and she was way beyond that.
Yesterday she told me she'd been wrong. While she could recite the pledge like no one else, now she had to do math--and kindergarten might be harder than she thought. I exercised appropriate parental discretion and did not tell her that math would most likely ruin many days to come. (First time I ever got in trouble at school was for cheating in first grade; on a subtraction test. It's seared into my psyche.)
But overall--we're doing well with this school thing. As I suspected the hardest part for Georgia is the realization that she has to go everyday. Everyday is hard for her--not because she's tired, not because she doesn't like it, not because she isn't making new friends (Paizlee & Ainsley & Kate; I hear about them everyday), and not because school is too hard….but because she LOVES to be at home. She told me yesterday that she feels confused because she likes school a lot, "It's terrific," but she likes to be home so much too.
I get this girl.
I genuinely liked school. I chose to keep going to school for my career. I live and breathe school. I think being in a school is amazing. AMAZING.
But I love being at home. Everything about home I love. And it's always been that way. We lived in a red house on Bishop street growing up and I can tell you everything about that house even though my parents moved out of it almost twenty years ago. The way it smelled, the sea green floral wallpaper in the upstairs bathroom, the window seat in my bedroom, where my favorite sweater hung in my closet, the little peach and brown floral stencils around the top of my sisters room, the secret passage-way that connected my mom and dads closet (the best spot during hide and seek games), and the TV cart with the antennaed TV that my parents would roll into our rooms if we were sick.
One of the things I was the most sad about when it came to Georgia going to school is the amount of time she'd be away from me. The idea that the memories that would become fore-front in her mind might not be about our family and our time together. But then I started thinking about myself….and I realized that's not really true. School can be great--and we can love school…..but if home is great too--and we love being there as well………..home will always win out--even when it might feel like the minority of our day.
I can name you countless memories from school when I really think about it. But, without thinking, when I just recall life in general, it's family vacations, family dinners, TGIF, shopping with my mom, baking cookies with my dad, building elaborate block houses for our little ponies with my sister, and doing crafts on the back patio all summer long that are just there……filling in the biggest spots in my mind…..edging out even the best memories of school for the makeup of my life.
And that's what I'm banking on for Georgia too. She'll love school--the pledge, art class, Spanish, journal writing, PE (even though she's cried during PE both times so far), and maybe even math…..but I'll never let it beat out being at home. And I think….if us moms can help our kids love school…..and love being at home…..we're doing okay.