Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Pressure of Sewanee and Chapel Hill

I've been asked by several different friends over the last few weeks when we plan to start the boys in school. My first response was something along the lines of, "Whaaaat? They're a year old! I don't even know what I'm making for dinner."

Then I was asked again. And I started to feel like I was missing something.

And then again. And panic started setting in.

Was I missing the boat here? Were my boys going to be left on the Island of Stupid because I don't know what the heck I am doing as a mother?!

I believed the first order of business was to define "school" for 2 & 3 year olds. I did some research. I talked to experts.

This made me smart.


Ok, not really, but I have talked to an expert.

Here's what I've concluded: no, we don't need to know when and which school rightthissecond, but yes, we need to decide when we want to start them. Some parents start as young as 2 years old, so it was something that needed to be on our radar screen.

If I've learned anything from this past year, it's that it went fast. Like warp speed, blink of an eye, DeLorian DMC-12, kind of fast. Suffice it to say, I know the next 3 years will fly by just as quickly.

So, I think we're going to keep them home until time for them to start "official" Pre-K at age 4.

I know most of you moms are screaming "NOOOOOOOO!" at the computer right now. But let me explain.

I waited a long time for these boys. I worked hard for them. I prayed even harder. And I don't want to miss a single second. These are the only 4 years I will have them all to myself.

Now, I can't say what shape I'll be in when the 4 years are up. I may drop them off on their first day of school and drive directly to the mental institution in Chattahootchee. Or more likely, The Betty Ford Clinic. But I'll have had 4 years with my little men. That's worth my sanity. And my liver.

But don't worry, I do understand the social implications of not sending them somewhere until Pre-K. They will be playing soccer and T-ball as soon as they are old enough to start.

And who knows, I can always change my mind.

Or I could be Baker Acted. Then it's off to boarding school.

So, decision made. Great. I'm feeling better. Until I realize that those years of development are critical. And I'll be in charge.

Hello, panic. Nice to see you again.

It hit me that I'll be the one responsible for making sure they are ready for Pre-K.

Me. Teaching.

You can stop laughing now. It only makes me panic more.

No, really. Stop.

Their whole academic future rests on my shoulders. Whether they get into the University of the South and UNC depends on me. This is I am wholly unqualified for. My high school and college transcripts aren't framers, people. How am I going to make sure not one, but two, young minds are advanced enough to earn full rides to these schools I dream of them attending?

Can you hear my heart beating? Feel my sweaty palms?

I called my expert. "What the heck do they have to know before they walk into Pre-K?!", I asked.

{God, please don't let her say geometry.}

She gave me 5 things: shapes, colors, ABCs, counting 1-10 and fine motor skills. And lots of tips on how to teach them.

No geometry. All doable. Big exhale. I love experts.

Don't be fooled, the pressure is still there. I beat myself up every night as I think of all the learning opportunities I missed that day. But my little men are destined to be Tigers and Tar Heels.

Momma's got this.