Tomorrow I will put my baby girl on the bus as she begins her journey into kindergarten.  I can’t believe she is beginning elementary school – it feels like yesterday when the doctor announced, “It’s a girl!”  Everyone says with a blink of an eye our children grow up so quickly.  I sound like my mother, but dare I say, she is right.

As a former teacher, of course I value education, but I think we as parents are taking education a bit too far.  The goals and expectations we have for our children are a bit scary.  I have been hearing about school districts since my daughter entered a 2’s class – which districts are highly competitive, which districts are lacking, etc.  It is really stressful and one of my least favorite conversations.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t get sucked into it at times.  We all seem to be in a rush to have our children read, and many brag about their little geniuses.  Ugh!  All of our children are special and smart to us, and that is the way it should be. 

I think school is important.  Of course I want my children to succeed, but what is truly more important to me is that my children feel supported, are confident, build and maintain friendships, and learn valuable life lessons that will make them better people.  And of course finger paint – after all, it’s kindergarten!

When my daughter gets on the bus tomorrow I hope she is smiling from ear to ear and has the best year in kindergarten.  I hope she has a blast learning, but more importantly, I hope everyday she goes to school feeling smart and confident!  I hope she raises her hand with confidence, understands we don’t always have the right answer, and to always respect others.  And I hope I can contain my tears as I put her on the bus! 

Rebecca Schleifer