A little over two weeks ago, Annika started her first full day of school. It was a day I’ve dreamed of many times. Not that I was looking forward to her growing up and going away from me. I dreamed of the time when she would go to school, I think, more of as a way to imagine my life again, as it was before she was born. Not that it will ever be the same.
This is the end of an era. My time as her main source of encouragement and knowledge is completely over. We had a taste of it last year when she was in school part-time, but that felt more like a dress rehearsal. This year, it’s the full Broadway production.
Literally, for the first time since was born four and a half years ago, I have hours upon hours of time without her, and she, without me.
It’s feels strange to say it, but I feel a little lost without her. But just a little. I am finding that my time without her is actually good for our relationship. I can now think without being interrupted. She sleeps, hard, and so do I. And now, when we’re together, it seems like we’re just catching up all the time, spending more quality time together, rather than simply quantity.
Not that quantity wasn’t good. It was when she was so young. And I think that if we had other options, we could go longer and it would still be good.
For a long time, I yearned to home school. I really thought long and hard about it. For me, it seemed a more natural life and something I think we both would have enjoyed.
But, I must work. And schooling is a lot of work. There are just not enough hours in the day. Plus, I really like to sleep.
So, school it is.
We’ve chosen a private Montessori. It’s a great school; one of the best in town and highly rated. So far, it seems worth it.
She’s learning a gazillion new things. Mostly learning to do things for herself. Over the weekend, I noticed a new glow of independence about her that I’d like to think has something to do with school.
The theory of Montessori is that children will naturally progress, learn, and grow if given the proper environment. The classrooms are structured so that children can do everything for themselves, including things like snack and clean up. They have their own dish washing station. Their own miniature tools and spaces. The environment feels much more conducive to learning than a traditional classroom, to me.
I thought about public school. But I just couldn’t do it. Annika is way too much of a follower and worries about rules. I feared that she would stress over following the rules more than learning. I want school to be a place where she feels safe and relaxed to try new things and experience the wonder of stretching your brain.
This is another beginning for both of us. I am stretching my toes more in the waters of self-employment, ready for new challenges in the social media and blogging world. Annika is stretching her wings inside a classroom where she will expand her mind.