We registered Jackson for kindergarten last week. It seems like this growing up thing is sticking. Life keeps pushing along while I stand stunned, staring at this handsome boy who used to be my baby.
Registering him for kindergarten wasn’t that easy of a task either.
We want Jackson to go to French Immersion (my husband is from Quebec) and while this program is part of the public system, spaces are limited. I have been worrying for months (well actually years) that he wouldn’t get in.
Up until last year, parents camped out over night to ensure a spot. Now the system has been changed to phone registration. The clock ticks down to the second and then we all jam the lines like crazed concert goers, praying that miraculously our phone line happens to make it into the queue. Personally I would rather sit in the cold for 24 hours than leave my son’s fate up to chance. But I had no choice in the matter.
I had huge notes hung around Susan’s house and ours reminding us of the big event. I had everyone versed on the plan of attack. We would use every line available, home, business and cell. Each person would be responsible for two phones. That way we could have eight lines trying to get through – four from our house, four from Susan’s.
But we got a lucky break. Due to a huge snowstorm, Susan’s husband Rob ended up working from home. That added another body and another phone.
We synced our clocks (I had phoned the school board the day before and synced my clock to theirs) and waited till the exact moment. Then we dialed. And redialed. And redialed. It wasn’t working! Ten minutes passed. Nine lines and we weren’t getting through! I started to feel hopeless. I kept trying to keep the rhythm of redialing going, but I was beginning to panic.
And then Susan instant messaged me, “Rob got through…Mom is talking to them…She is giving them his information…”
I couldn’t believe it. I still kept redialing for another two minutes as I tried to believe it. He is in.
The relief didn’t rush in as I thought it would. I was in disbelief for awhile. And then I began to relax, thanking God for that ninth line. It was Rob that had managed to get his line answered.
So on Friday Jackson and I went up to the school to officially register him. Because it is a special program, he isn’t going to our neighborhood school. It is about a 10 minute drive away and it was the first time either Jackson or I had seen the school. I suppose I am over-sentimental, but I felt so excited to see this place where my son will be beginning his schooling career.
We found our way to the office and I began filling out the forms. My ever-social son (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) began making friends with another soon-to-be kindergartener.
Then the other boy’s mom finished and they left. The hall started to fill up with students, filing through in pairs to pick up the bins for Friday’s hot lunch. Now Jackson stood next to me, pushing himself against the wall. I kept looking up from my forms to watch the various ages walking by, imagining Jackson in their different sized shoes.
When the last bin was carried away and there were no more “big kids” to be seen, Jackson whispered to me, “Phew, I am glad that is over.” Yes, my little guy is pretty nervous about the whole thing. I am nervous for goodness sakes – he must be too!
Growing up is scary. I am afraid to let my boy go out in that world where kids will be mean and teachers will be unfair. I won’t be able to control his environment and protect him from pain. I will have to let him experience all the bad days along with all the good.
I will have to let him grow up, like every boy must.