Monday, August 19, 2013

Letting go

"Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss
In teaching, one goal is for students to eventually do a task on their own, without the help of a teacher.  Teachers chunk or scaffold lessons so students can grasp things at their own pace.  Then, we should be able (in theory) to let go and have them master a skill by themselves.

Today, we just saw my youngest off to preschool.  This is no where the biggest milestone that we will see, but this is by far, the saddest to me.  Sad because the little boy who, up until a couple months ago, would wake up in the middle of the night to look for me.  Sad because the little boy who makes his family laugh will now be making his teachers and classmates laugh (hopefully at appropriate times).  Sad because the little boy who dances and sings at random times will have to do things on a schedule not his own.  Sad because his wide-eyed innocence will soon face the realities of growing up.
His preschool does strongly encourage pretend-play, and the syllabus even included an interesting article on "Kids Play to Learn." I was pleasantly surprised when the teacher provided many research-based reasons for the classroom set-up, the broken crayons, the choices of toys and curriculum.  Jesse, I'm sure, will be well-prepared for his formal school years.
Although his reputation is already (day 1!) "the comedian," he is not mean, or spiteful, or hateful.  He just has an over-active imagination that makes his personality so unique. His curiosity doesn't stop him from asking questions.  This fun-loving kid is now in a world that has structure, time-frames, boundaries that he may not have realized.
So here we are, at the moment where time does not stand still.  So many parents have said, "It goes by fast," and I am now a witness.  Some parents tell me, "You'll like the next stage," or "Their next phase is better."  But I want to keep the purity that is in a four-year-old brain.  I want him to not grow up in the crazy world full of drama, war, death.  But... I know I have to let go.  Because his independence is one of the ways to bury "boys will be boys."

1 comment:

  1. I don't think parents ever do "let go". Maybe it's more loosening the hand holding, checking from a distance instead of at armslenght, doing more breathing calesthenics and all the while reminding oneself to "hang on"! Hanging on to innocence, hanging on to silliness and the laughter that ensues and most of all hanging on to pint size boys that fill your heart with hope and dreams! But see, your heart will always be filled with hopes and dreams, no matter that the pint size, little people grow up to be great men and women in your world. You are a great example of maybe just ease up on the reigns a little..but dear teacher-mom-of mine, never let go!!!