Going to Pre-K during Coronavirus: Thoughts on Letting Go

Reid has been out of school for almost 6 months. In that time, we have navigated, learned and grown so much as parents and a family. It has been a taxing, fun, stressful, different, playful time that brought our little family closer together. The boys have become best friends and their little friendship has blossomed immensely. I know that I will look back on these days and remember the precious moments we got to spend as a family unit (as well as the stressful, uncertain times).

As I write this, we are a week out before Reid starts pre-K and gets back into the swing of somewhat “normal” life again. It is a bittersweet moment as a mother and it is hard to express all of the emotions–so I’ll do my best.

We struggled with the decision to send Reid back to school or not: a lot of debate between Drew and myself and opinions of close family members and our pediatrician. There is really no right or wrong answer. At the end of the day, we are lucky that Reid is only 4 and not in “real school” and that I stay home with the boys. However, we decided that we are going to send Reid to school based on our pediatrician’s recommendation and we feel some-what comfortable since we don’t have grandparents or immune compromised family members near us. Additionally, Drew strongly believes that Reid needs it for his emotional development and that it will benefit everyone in the family.

That being said, the normal stressors of sending a child to school at the beginning of the year are still present (and probably more so as we had such a long break). I am sad to end our little three-some that we have had since March. It has been such a joy riding bikes and scooters, having lazy mornings and trips to the donut shop, walking our neighborhood and talking to each other, playing Paw Patrol and playing on the “pirate ship” swing set.

I am sad to end the best and closest friendship between my two little boys and nervous that their bond will dissipate as Reid makes more friends closer to his age. Reid is so sweet to his little brother (most of the time), Walker mimics everything his older brother does, they play well together and protect each other.

I am sad for the ending of this strange and uncertain time where the only thing we knew for certain was the love, strength and togetherness of our little family unit. I am sad to open the gate to outsiders. This time has brought a new respect for each other, we have learned to lean on and entertain each other even more.

I know that it is the natural and good thing for Reid’s development, but I cannot help but be a little sad. It is part of being a mother. I realize that part of me longs to be needed, but deep down I want my boys to learn how to be independent. I want Reid to flourish and make good buddies and have experiences outside of our home that leads to his development—but y’all it is hard to let go.

Probably the hardest part of motherhood for me is the letting go. It comes around every school year and is just a stage of life that we have to deal with. Growing up, I cried before the first day of school as the unknown scared me. Now, I cry as it is the letting go of my baby and allowing my baby to gain more independence away from our family. Boy, it is tough on this mama!

So in the midst of uncertainty if we are making the right call for the public health and the bittersweetness that comes from Reid growing up—I am going to put on my big girl pants, say my prayers, load up on sanitizer and watch my little boy enter his final year of preschool.

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