On Sending My Son to Kindergarten

By Jessica Wolstenholm




I don’t know where it came from. I had only planned to pop into the elementary school office, pick up the hefty Kindergarten registration packet for my son, and proceed with my day – which included a trip to Target alone (#winning!). The hot tears that burned in the corners of my eyes and threatened to spill down onto said registration packet caught me totally off guard. But there I sat, alone in my minivan, weeping. I grabbed a fistful of spare fast food napkins from my glove compartment and buried my face into them. The torrent of emotions was real.


As the flash flood turned into more of a light drizzle, I started to think about where all of these tears had come from. Why had the simple act of picking up the paperwork for my firstborn’s school registration elicited such a deep emotional response? What feelings had it triggered? A bit of prayer and introspection lead me to these thoughts:


I wept because I was grieving the end of an era. My son was entering school now. No longer would he be home all day, every day, with countless opportunities to build lego creations together, get our fingers sticky with glue over an art project, or sit shoulder to shoulder, a bowl of popcorn between us, watching his favorite movie. Now we’d have school schedules, homework, and legit bedtimes to contend with. My heart grieved the end of that freedom, the end of that pre-school era.


I cried because I felt guilty. Well over half of my girlfriends homeschool their children. I had naturally assumed that, when the time came, I would follow suit. But after some honest attempts at a homeschool preschool program, it became very clear that neither my son nor I were cut out for this sort of educational situation. But why? Shouldn’t I, as his mother, be able to homeschool him? Shouldn’t I be able to figure it out? Enrolling him in the local public school felt like an admission of failure on my part to rise up in this role of educator.


I cried because I was fearful. I truly don’t know a single soul at that school, from teacher to student or anywhere in between. In some sense I feel like I’m sending my sweet little lamb into a den of prowling wolves. I don’t know with whom he will interact with on a daily basis or how they will treat him or even where his classroom will be. I’ve been able to control almost every part of his environment up until this point – sending him into the unknown this way turns my stomach into knots.


After mulling over these thoughts for a while and dabbing away a few spare tears I decided to lay all these concerns down at the feet of my Father. And the Lord, being as gracious and kind as He is, was faithful to meet my insecurities and questions with truths about this new school situation.


It is the end of an era, but good things are still to come. You have done well to fully soak up the moments he had while at home. All opportunities to continue to enjoy your son are not lost.


Homeschooling is not for everyone. And what if I have your son and your family in that school to be missionaries? There are lost souls in that school for you to find and influence, opportunities you would not have had otherwise. See the potential for Me that awaits.


Come August you will meet the teacher, meet the fellow students, walk the hallways. It won’t be so scary then. Just be patient. And if you still feel unsettled, you aren’t stuck. You can make a change anytime.


I dried my tears and took a deep breath, grateful for these truths God had spoken to my heart and His perfect love that had at least knocked the edge off my fears. I would be lying if I said I don’t still struggle with these thoughts and anxieties of sending my son off to Kindergarten. But I know God is faithful both to me and to my son and has a carefully crafted story penned for each one of us, a purpose for each of our days.


There may be hesitations and uncertainties on my part, there will most assuredly be tears, but as I stand at the bus stop waving goodbye to my blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy as he boards his first-ever school bus, I can stand confidently knowing the same God who dried my tears that day goes before and behind my son. God has great plans for him I need only pray and follow where the Lord leads and not allow my grief, my guilt, or my fears stand in the way.