Saturday, July 12, 2008

Worried

Abe's going to start kindergarten in a few weeks, and I suddenly find myself feeling nervous about it. The other night I just lay awake worrying, and I just couldn't stop myself. It seems like it shouldn't be a big deal, but suddenly all these questions kept coming to me, like:
  • What if he's sick one day? Am I supposed to go in and get the work he missed? Or if I do that will the teacher (who will be some cute young thing, probably younger than me) think I'm stupid, because he's only in kindergarten, for crying out loud?
  • If he doesn't understand something, how will I know about it so I can help him?
  • What about piano lessons? Should he be starting piano lessons? What about swimming lessons? Has every other kid already had swimming lessons?
  • What if nobody likes him?
  • Do I go pick him up from school? Do they just send him home? How am I supposed to know things like that?
  • Am I supposed to give money to the PTA? How much? I suppose I should be IN the PTA. How do you do that?
  • How does all this year-round stuff work? What if I send him to school when he's supposed to be off-track, and then they try to send him home, and I'm not home because I went to the store because I thought he'd be at school?
  • He should know how to read. Beth's kids know how to read. How do I teach him how to read?
  • If he forgets something, do I bring it to him? Or do I just let him suffer the consequences? What if I go to school to bring something to him, and my baby is screaming, and the teacher asks me to leave because I'm disturbing the whole class, and I can't leave because I can't find Sebastian, who has run off down the hall while I was trying to find Abe's classroom?

Well, okay. It was kind of late at night, maybe I wasn't at my very most rational. And I know, I know; it will all turn out okay; all these are stupid little worries and fears. But still. Everyone seems to know these things. Except me. It's okay if Dads don't know them, but Moms are supposed to know them, and so I feel like I should too---but then, how am I supposed to find them out? And I don't just want Abe to just turn out okay; I want him to be a good kid, even an extraordinary kid, who is confident, and people like him, and he knows how to stand up for himself without being obnoxious. And suddenly I'm having this panic attack; like, I'm so woefully unprepared, and now how do I teach him all that???!

Then I have to tell myself: for goodness sake, I was certainly not confident all the time, and I didn't have that many friends, but I was mostly happy, and I got through the times when I felt sad and shy and lonely. I guess you always just want better for your kids. It's something you always hear people say, and I thought I would be wise enough to just shake my head and say, "Well, they have to make their own mistakes and learn from them"---but I'm not; I just feel so bad for him! I hate to think of all the years and years of painful mistakes, and loneliness, and awkwardness he has ahead of him. Even though I know there are lots of good things about being a kid, too.

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