Beginning of School (Kindergarten) = BIG Parenting Change

» As you might imagine, the beginning of school represents the BIGGEST change yet to the father/son relationship. Nothing else has even come close.

Winnie the Pooh and friends in classI was hoping somehow this wouldnt be the case, but how can it not? .. when you give your child to 'others' for large chunks of every day? (I take him to school 3 days every week.)

Here we are in April -- two months from the end of the school year -- and we've never been late. Not even once.

Tho one day last week (after we'd moved the clocks forward an hour for daylight savings), I turned off the alarm and decided to snuggle him for a "few minutes" before getting ready. (He sleeps so peacefully.)

I fell back asleep. Forty-five minutes later we had to dash out the door. (You've probably been there yourself.) We made it, barely.

Except for two days earlier this winter when he was sick, we've never missed a day. He's a little trooper.

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet Looking for butterfliesAn Unanticipated Consequence

One unanticipated consequence of the Bug starting kindergarten .. is that I no longer get those debilitating pangs .. when he leaves at the end of our time together.

Used to be (.. sometimes, not always ..) it would become difficult to breathe .. after he left at the end of the week .. especially after we had spent 5 glorious days together.

Felt like the air got sucked out of my lungs. I had to concentrate on breathing .. or it felt like I might stop .. similar to the way you feel when you get the wind knocked out of you.

Extremely uncomfortable feeling. Horrible. Like a gorilla was sitting on my chest. Like I had to fight for air .. for every breath. (No, I've never had asthma, tho I can certainly imagine.)

The only thing that helped was knowing it would pass in an hour or two. Four, tops .. on really bad days. (I've been thru the drill enough times to know how it worked.) Yet every time it happened (.. maybe every 3rd or 4th week), it still sucked.

I never did figure out exactly what was happening .. why such severe distress overtook me. I chalked it up to something hardwired into our parenting instincts .. which sometimes transcend logical rational thought.

During our last 30 minutes together every week, I would try to predict whether these pangs-of-distress would arrive this time.

Sometimes I'd anticipate they WOULD (come) -- perhaps because we had an especially enjoyable time together -- and nothing would happen.

Other times I'd feel certain this time would be a piece of cake .. and they'd come with a vengeance.

So there seemed to be no rhyme nor reason. No predictable pattern .. at least, not one I could distinguish. Tho, in general, the closer we grew, the more difficult it was to see him go.

For a few days, he'd be my whole world. I'd try to anticipate his every need. Then .. nothing. Gone. Very disorienting. And I know from talking to other dads in a similar situation that I'm not the only one who has ever felt this way.

••• today's entry continues here below •••

Anyway, I no longer get those suck-the-air-out-of-my-lungs pangs-of-distress when he leaves. (When we say goodbye, I kiss him and tell him, "I'm the luckiest dad in the whole world.")

The question is .. have these pangs left because I no longer see him so much? .. now that he's in school? I dunno. I hope he's getting enough quality dad-time, but it's definitely been easier on me.

Winnie the Pooh, Tigger & friends » Doing Well in School

He seems to be doing well in school. (Heck, it's only kindergarten.)

Today, for example, he brought home a 14-page test, which said he got all 38 questions correct. Not even one wrong.

Moreover he seems friendly & outgoing toward the other kids.

At school, I push both him and his friends on the swings for 10 minutes before the bell rings (.. for them to go get in line).

I joke around with his friends, too. "Are you gonna scream like a girl if I push you high?" They laugh and act macho. "Push me higher! I wont scream like a girl."

One of his friends even calls me "daddy" some time. Hmmm. What's up with that? (I make it a point to learn all their names.)

Winnie the Pooh and friends in class» Funny Things Kids Sometimes Say

Before getting in line (after the bell rings), I take the Bug to the restroom.

Last week, while he was pulling up his pants, he said, "Dad, this is the best place to hide from girls. The big kids told me." =)

Yesterday he said, "Some of the kids in my class were talking about who they were gonna marry when they grow up." (Kindergarten.) He also told me about a friend who "has two mommies."

One of the more heartbreaking things came when he was telling me about another friend who "..has a mommy and a daddy."

"Do they live together?" I asked, curiously. "Yeah," he said, "That's what I want."

It's a very weird feeling .. cuz parents WANT to give their kids the desires of their heart (.. even if it's just an ice cream cone down on Balboa Island). I didnt respond, but thought, "That would be a miracle." Stranger things have happened, ya know. (Tho not much stranger.)

His eyes sparkle when he laughs, which are music to my ears. They make my heart sing.

He still has all his baby teeth.

For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigured for the query » begin school kindergarten parenting visitation father son

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Rad published on April 8, 2011 4:08 AM.

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