I waited six years for my first child to go to school, and now that it’s here, I’m not ready for this. It’s not because she’s been home with me most of the time or that she’s my baby and growing up so fast. I’m not ready for kindergarten because I have no idea what I’m doing. This is terrifying for me, not because my child is going to be in a classroom, on her own, learning to be independent without me. It’s terrifying because…
1. I don’t know how to do the drop-off line.
2. I don’t know how to do the pickup line.
3. I don’t know how much time I have with these uniform skirts before my leggy kid grows past the 3-inch-above-the-knee-cut-off.
4. I don’t know if they want her to have a folder with the horizontal pockets, or the folder with multiple horizontal pockets. They sell both.
5. I don’t know how hot lunch works anymore.
6. I don’t know if my kid will have friends at school.
7. I don’t know if they will check the brand of her khaki pants to make sure it’s the required one.
8. I don’t know why it matters what brand the khaki pants are.
9. I don’t know who I’ll drop off first, preschoolers or kindergartner.
10. I don’t know who I’ll pick up first, preschoolers or kindergartner.
11. I don’t know if she’ll fit in.
12. I don’t know what time we have to wake up and leave to get everyone where they need to be on time.
13. I don’t know her teacher.
14. I don’t know why the supply list asks for two pink pearl erasers when they are sold in packs of three.
15. I don’t know how to steer her away from peer pressure.
16. I don’t know how to handle bullying.
17. I don’t know what door she’s supposed to get dropped off by.
18. I don’t know how often I’m supposed to volunteer.
19. I don’t know if these knee socks are to knee-ish.
20. I don’t know if she’ll understand everything she’s supposed to learn.
21. I don’t know if she’ll have someone to eat lunch with.
22. I don’t know if she’ll be safe.
23. I don’t know if learning will be hard for her.
24. I don’t know who will be going in and out of that school.
25. I don’t know if I’m ready to let her go.
It’s all so terrifying — every day, already. My head is spinning a million what-ifs a minute. It’s still two months away, I know. But it’s coming. I already want her to go back to preschool, not because I want my baby back, but because I want that safety and simplicity that was preschool where there are no bullies and cliques. There is no peer pressure or homework overload. I want to go back to where I know where she is, and the bathroom is right inside the classroom. I don’t know if I’m ready to let her go. I don’t know if I’ll ever be.