Posts Tagged ‘kindergarten’

To Thine Own Self Be True

November 20, 2012

This morning we had a bit of an after-school-special play out in the foyer of our house.

“Tristan,” I asked, “Do you want to wear daddy’s (coveted, both boys fight over it) Tripadvisor toque this morning?”

“No, I can’t wear that one again because my friends don’t like it.”


Ugh. And so it begins. I knew this would happen one day… but to my little boy now? At four years old? In kindergarten?

I took a deep breath and tried to gather my thoughts. Tried to figure out what words to say to a little boy who has just embarked on this brand new adventure and just wants to have fun and be liked.

Because, yes, I know, right now we are only talking about toques. But I want him to be aware of his own self and to trust his own judgement so that later on when the debate has moved on from toques and toys and onto girls and drugs and alcohol… Well it’s then that I REALLY want him to confidently make his own healthy decisions, regardless of the paths his peers may take.

I understand the desire to fit in and be part of the group. But oh, how I want him to be happy in his own skin and to make his own choices and listen to his own heart.

“Tristan,” I replied. “You loved this hat, buddy. Do you still like it?”

“Yes, but my friends only like my dinosaur toque.”

I went on to explain how what really mattered was what HE thought – if HE likes the hat, than we should wear it. It’s ok to like different things from our friends.

In the end he chose the dino hat, but at least we had the conversation. I hope that the seed that I planted will grow and give him confidence to just. be. himself.

How do YOU encourage your child to be his/herself?

Seven Days

October 3, 2012

It took seven days.

Seven days before he didn’t bawl getting on the bus.

Seven days before I didn’t have to physically put him on the bus.

Seven days before his emotions didn’t cause me to walk home with my own hot tears on my cheeks.

And now? My little scholar?

He’s loving it!



Grateful for kind friends and sensitive teachers who’ve helped make the transition easier for all of us!



Day Two

September 3, 2012

Day two of big boy school started off on a much lower note than day one.

From the moment Tristan got up that morning, he started saying, “I don’t want to go to school. I want to stay home with yooooouuuuuu.”

Of course I pumped school up and talked about how much fun it was going to be, knowing that even after we’ve all adjusted to this new routine, this is probably a line I’m going to hear a lot over the next 14 years. At least the part about not wanting to go to school. 🙂

I drove Tristan to school again and as we approached the doors he clung to my leg and his little lip started to tremble. Tears began to well in his eyes. I put on my own bravest face, and pulled out my cheeriest voice.

Again…. “You’re going to have soooo much fun at school!” and I assured him that  I would be there waiting for him when he got off the bus.

He reluctantly approached the teacher standing at the door and she immediately knelt down and wrapped him in her arms when she saw his tears.  As I walked away I looked back to see his head still resting on her shoulder.

I looked back at the teacher with Tristan in her arms and when our eyes met I mouthed, “merci.”

Thank you for taking care of my sweet boy… and thank you also for consoling me by comforting him.

And I knew that he would be alright… and that I would too.

Before becoming a mama myself, I was on the other side of this scene. I stood at the doorway welcoming my nervous grade one’s into my classroom. I never realized how much trust those parents were putting in me. I loved my students like they were my own kids, but I never realized how important it was for the parents that it be that way.

But now I know. Thank you to all the teachers of the world – for loving our children when we’re not there to do it ourselves.

The First Day

September 2, 2012

This week brought a special milestone to our house – Tristan had his first day at “big boy school.”

I set my alarm for 6:00, wanting everything to be ready for the first big day and not wanting to be rushed.

I rose to a dark room. The darkness felt heavy, solemn.

I cried in the shower. I cried blow drying my hair. I stood there staring in the mirror, internally asking myself some difficult questions.

Have I done enough in the time he’s been home? 

Did we play enough? Read enough? Snuggle enough?

Have I prepared him well enough to go off to school on his own?

Of course I know the answer is yes, but in the silent darkness of that first day, logic was nowhere to be found. Emotions ruled.

We shared a special french toast breakfast and did the regular fanfare of first-day-of-school-pictures, where I had to use all my strength to hold it together.

I kissed his palm and placed a heart-shaped sticker in the centre of it, ready to feed him love from home at any time. (In “The Kissing Hand,” the mama raccoon kisses her little one’s hand before he heads off to school. Whenever he missed his mama, all he had to do was press his hand to his cheek and feel his mother’s love.)

Tristan and his “kissing hand”

I continued to fight the tears on the short drive to school, stopping talking mid-sentence occasionally to avoid having Tristan hear the strain in my voice.

And then we were there and his commencing of school happened somewhat like ripping off a bandaid. It all happened very quickly. We arrived and within minutes the doors were open and a nice teacher asked him his name and in he went. I knelt down to hug and kiss him, and wish him a wonderful day.

As he walked away into the school, he pressed his palm to his cheek.

And that’s when I lost it. With Tristan’s eyes no longer on me, I managed to squeak out, “Luc! I need a hug!” before the sobs started and my shoulders began to shake. It was a short lasting cry but one that had been building and needed to get out.

My little boy was off on a new adventure without me and I had to let him go.

I picked him up from his first bus ride after school, and as he peeked around the first row of seats on his way to the steps, his eyes lit up when he saw his mama waiting for him. I clicked a quick picture and enveloped him in my arms.

“Hey buddy! How was your first day of school?!”

“…a little bit fun…” was his reply.

…. a mostly positive response. I’ll take it! I know we both just need a little time to adjust! 🙂

A New Chapter

August 28, 2012

Dear Tristan,

I can’t believe tomorrow has arrived so soon! In the morning you are going to head off to big-boy school! I know you’re ready for the challenge and the excitement, but I know I am going to miss all the time we had together. For four and a half years I’ve had you as an almost constant side-kick. It is strange to think that we won’t be having daily discussions anymore about where we should go or what we should get up to.

Tomorrow when I drop you off at school, I know I will cry. Oh, I won’t let you see me. But after you’ve gone through those big metal doors, blindly trusting your new teacher, I know I will shed a few tears. I won’t be able to help it.

It won’t be that I’m sad per se, though I know I will miss you. I will cry cause I’m just so darn proud of the little boy that you are. I’m proud of your intelligence and you’re innocence. I’m proud of how kind you are and how you will approach any child and ask them to play. I am just proud of you. Period.

Where has the time gone? I know that I am helping you to grow wings and this is just your first little flight into a world where I know you can, and will succeed. I know this is the first step in one of many. But that doesn’t make it any easier to watch you go!

We’re all ready… Your backpack is packed and waiting by the door. Your lunch is made (watch out for the secret “I love you” note hidden inside!) and we read “The Kissing Hand” at bedtime.

Nothing to do now but head off on your next adventure.

Have fun my love! I love you!

Love, Mommy