Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Burl's First Enrollment

Burl is going to school tomorrow, where do I begin?
Well, it's only one day a week, so I'm barely dipping my feet into the waters of sending him off for school. 
I'm trying to give him as much information as possible, because he's like his mama:
nothing says fun like detailed planning. 
Burl's been so excited about his new backpack, which finally arrived today. Red. With his name.
The lunch has been planned since the day we signed up: sandwich, apple, cookies.
I forgot to make homemade cookies, so I made a dash for some extra butter and "whipped some up" at 10 at night. Homemade cookies=he'll always remember his mama, right?

Ok, enough rambling. I'm going to try and formulate some thoughts on sending him to school.

1. I'm excited for him. I really enjoyed school even when I didn't enjoy it. This might sound like overkill, but school was a huge blessing to me. I believe that Burl is going to have a great time. Out of ten students, he's already friends with four of them. They're going to learn numbers and letters. They get a lot of indoor and outdoor playtime. There's a water fountain he can reach outside his classroom.
These are big, exciting things for him!

2. Our plan was to wait another year before enrolling Burl into any type of program. He gets time away from us often, as we have both sets of grandparents in town. However, when Amanda called and said she was sending her son (Burl's best buddy) to the school four doors down from us, we started to think about it. Burl's been asking to go to school, so we decided to sign him up. When I have told people about it, everyone's reponse is the same: He's going to love it. That's our hope.

3. I have big thoughts about the benefits of sending my child to school, and this is going to be good practice for both of us. 

Burl is going to get to practice telling people how to treat him and what to do when it doesn't line up with their actions. The 90s phrase with this is: he'll learn how to set boundaries and what to do when people cross them. I think this is a huge skill that most of us are lacking. So often, we expect people to know what to do or say to make us feel good. When it doesn't happen, we usually just pull away or get angry or something else that isn't healthy or mature. As Burl goes into school, he will learn to set boundaries and have boundaries asked of him. This is an education that I highly value, because people and relationships are very valuable and we must learn how to tend to them.

Also, Burl's going to learn to be brave apart from his parents. I can think of so many circumstances that will require him to be brave and put himself out there and that's such a good place to be. Again, that's an education that surpasses a good curriculum. 

The most exciting thing that Burl and John and I are going to practice for real school is communication. Eventually school will keep him away from us for a big chunk of his life and the only way that we can know about that is what he tells us. Now, at 3 1/2, I can learn to talk to him and find out about his day. 

Recently I was talking to my mom about some hard questions that Burl's been asking and telling her my responses. She said that they could have stumped me, but my responses were good. I told her, and she agreed, that the more I show interest in his life and thoughts now, the more he's going to know that I'll be excited to talk to him when things get deeper. On a good day, I see it this way: every time I carefully answer his "why" questions, I'm laying the groundwork for when he gets older and the talks get much bigger.

I'm eager to send him off into the world in small (and later big) ways, then have him return to his home and share with us what he has experienced. I'm eager to listen intently, to ask a lot of questions, and to talk to him (or remain silent) as this world opens up to him. Walking through this culture with him is one of the most exciting parts of being parent for me.
Tomorrow it starts with a very small thing called Parents Day Out.


  1. What a big boy! Such a milestone. Great idea to put his toes in the water of school first instead of throwing him in the deep end of Kindergarten like I did with my first! Poor Keaton! ha!

  2. Good words and made my morning

  3. Do you happen to share your thumbprint cookie recipe?

    1. I'll do anything for family! Wink, wink!!!

      They are seriously amazing! They are cheap to make and everyone raves when I make them. Just last week, someone paid me to make them for their party. Let me know how they turn out!