Today is the first Friday of the first full week of all-day kindergarten for my son. And I cannot believe what a huge difference it has already made - to me and my wife!
After 5 1/2 years of mostly having him at home (with some co-op preschool, 3 hours - 3 days/week) we actually have some time to think, breathe, and, well, do whatever we want!
I hadn't quite realized what we had been immersed in since our son's arrival. Other parents told me we were about to hit a "golden time", followed by another challenging period, but I didn't get it.
Now I get it - parenting is a TRIATHALON.
The first part is the swim. It's full immersion. Dive right in. You're dry, then you're wet. You can't really stop. You often feel like you're going to drown. You sometimes get kicked in the face by the other participants. And then, after 5-6 years, it's finally over!
We are in that transition now, pulling off the cold, wet swimsuit. Toweling off. Putting on dry clothes (real triathaletes are now sensing I have never actually competed in one of these!) and getting ready for the bike.
The bike. Biking can be fun! We did it as kids. You can stop if you need to. Go slow or fast. You still have some energy left to do it.
And that is this middle portion of parenting, when hopefully the problems are ones you remember having yourself, that aren't so serious or heart-breaking or death-defying. Elementary school kids, still with some sweetness and innocence.
Reports from parents ahead of me is that this portion of the race will go til about age 11 or 12, followed by the knee-pounding, not-so-fun marathon to finish the race. I'm sure you teen and tween parents could give me many lessons about that. I will await the wisdom of those that have gone ahead.
But to finish, I'll say this - if your kids are in pre-school, keep moving forward! Don't give up. Have hope. Things will change, in a good way, soon!