Kindergarten and Americorps, sending my kids into the world

This week’s blog post is not about books. The title of my blog reads, “random thoughts connected to my boys.” Here are some random thoughts. Thanks for reading!

boys playing operation

Max, Ben, Calvin.

Sitting in a neuropsychology office looking at a plastic brain and talking about one of my sons, I tried to remind myself that change is natural.

It’s a time of transition at our house. All good things. My twin boys are headed to kindergarten. My adult stepson is headed to a new city nine hours away, after earning two degrees. He will be working with Americorps.

Then why is this mama feeling weepy? It could be hormones, that brain thing, and the fact that I’m probably feeling like moms everywhere sending their kids to kindergarten.

For many of us, sending our babies to kindergarten, while exciting, is emotional. It represents the end of babyhood. Suddenly, all the joys and trials of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers is….over. Of course, there is more to come, but this is a big life step.

And my oldest? He’s 24 but for the last six years he’s been 2 ½ hours away in a town where one of my best friends lives. Easy to access, easy to visit.

We’ve always celebrated dual transitions as a blended family. A month after our oldest went to college, I gave birth to twin boys. A few weeks after one of the twins finished chemotherapy, we went to college graduation.

Back to the plastic brain and the chemo. At a little over two years old, our son Calvin was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Eleven hours of brain surgery, 12 rounds of chemotherapy, and four years later, we have a healthy, happy, redheaded child. We are grateful every single day.

But as his mom and a natural born worrier, it’s hard. I worried about letting him go to preschool four months after treatment, but the intimate setting, short day, and loving teachers won me over. The longer day, new teachers and students, stresses me out.

The plastic brain came out when we met with neuropsychology to discuss the results of recent tests. Surgery may have impacted his brain and they will monitor him for years to come. I never thought I’d have to talk about my son’s brain as a way to prep for kindergarten.

These three make me realize things will probably be ok. Last night, they sat around the kitchen table playing the oldest’s game of Operation. The 24-year-old patiently taught the younger two math skills when working with the paper money. It takes a very steady hand and a patient older brother to play old-school Operation.

The twins’ biggest concern about kindergarten is what to pack for the lunch; Max suggested popsicles. Meanwhile, the oldest just bought a car and is excited for his next big adventure.

I listened to their chatter, laughter, and buzzes of the game as I loaded the dishwasher. This moment of domestic family bliss reminded me how far we have come, how lucky we are.

I have to mention books
If you didn’t see my email this week, take a moment to check out Brandon T. Snider’s work. This fellow Mariemont grad is the author of several Cartoon Network favorites.

5 thoughts on “Kindergarten and Americorps, sending my kids into the world

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