Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Elijah's First Day

Elijah and Dan drove away at 8:07am this morning. Off to school they went. Just like that. Gone.

There are two things I cannot believe right now:

1. This is Dan's LAST YEAR in seminary. Wow, never thought this year would come!!

2. This is Elijah's first day of pre-school. Honestly, I never planned for this day to come!

When talking about pre-school with other friends of youngins, I heard the following reasons they decided to go through with it, all of which meant absolutely nothing to me:

- It's good for kids to interact with other children. I'm sorry, but Elijah has NO problem making three play dates a day. This boy is social. Besides that, we have kids in and out of our house. He shares a room with three other bodies for goodness sake! If anything, he interacts too much.

- It's good for your kids to have another adult authority in their lives. I believe this is true, which is why we've taught Elijah to respect adults and we give him plenty of opportunities to practice this (Sunday school, weekly babysitters, joining us in adult activities and dinners, etc.).

- Pre-school is a great place for kids to learn how to follow directions. Ok, sure, but shouldn't your kid already know how to do that at four years old???

I really had a hard time saying "yes" to the whole pre-school thing. I taught pre-school when we lived in Malawi. I know what they learn and I was excited to do that with Elijah. I can't believe we are paying someone else to do the things I've been hoping and planning to do with Elijah at home.  I hate to think he'll miss out on our weekly field trips to the Zoo and Science Museum. I hate thinking about rushing him out the door three mornings a week and pushing back nap time so I can pick him up at 12:30pm. Four years old is too early of an age to let go of your child. If Elijah is anything like his daddy, he has 25+ years of school ahead of him. Why start now with a glorified daycare? He is simply too young!

Alright, emotional rant over. In the end,  I said "yes", we signed him up and sent him off to pre-school. It came down to the fact that he will benefit from a break from our home which is always in transition. He can be in a consistent place, grow and learn and be fed intellectually. I just cannot do that for him right now as a foster mom. He's surrounded by toddlers and babies who ruin his plans. School will be a safe place for him to explore, build and try new things without Lazilla knocking it all down. Does he absolutely NEED that? No. He'd be fine if he stayed home, too! I just see school as a gift of relief to Elijah, a way for us to love him while we minister to the kids who come through our revolving door.

Sometimes I feel like I'm putting our foster children first, especially when it came to the pre-school decision. BUT, the truth of it is, we are all learning what it means to sacrifice our wants and needs for other people in the world. That is something I want Elijah to learn how to do well. If he needs to be shipped off to school 3 days a week so I can attend meetings and court dates and love on these lost little babies, well, it's okay!

And trust me, Elijah is every bit excited for school and has NO idea I've had such an emotional struggle with this decision. He's elated and thinks we've given him the world!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about preschool, I have had very similar ones. In the end, with our circumstances being what they are, we decided not to do preschool. But, I will think about this post for the future.