I cried during my son’s kindergarten tour. But it wasn’t for the reasons you think.
Sure, it’s going to be weird to take him to school this fall. I can’t believe he’s 5 years old. Time has flown. I know I’ll shed a few tears dropping him off for his first day of elementary school. But then I’ll go about my day and realize how quickly that “long” school day passes; and I’ll savor those slightly calmer moments with his younger siblings before he gets home.
No, I cried during his kindergarten tour because I am terrified for what’s ahead. I cried because other parents were asking mundane questions about the school uniforms or how their child being in a French speaking preschool might impact her learning in a dual language Spanish program. I cried because so much of what the faculty was addressing didn’t apply to us.
If only our concerns were so simple.
I hid my tears during that tour while worrying about how my son is not talking yet and how that might make the dual language program harder for him. I sat there feeling guilty that he’s not toilet trained yet and thinking about other kids making fun of him. I wanted to ask so many questions but didn’t raise my hand because I knew they would be better addressed in a separate meeting or with our IEP team.
I cried because I wonder if those parents I’m sitting with will accept my talented little guy who happens to have some pretty significant developmental delays.
I cried because I felt like we didn’t belong. And I’m okay with that; in many ways we don’t fit in with these other parents. I just never want my son to feel that way.