My youngest child starts Kindergarten in the morning. They stagger-entry the children, so they only have 4-5 in each day this week. Then on Monday the whole class will be there. Which is why I have spent today chasing down forms and meeting for over an hour with the school nurse--because we need a plan to deal with his allergies.
There are many things to consider when sending an allergic child to public school for the first time. I have to have forms filled out to check the medicine into the school. I have to tell them if I want the medicine also in the classrooms (I do). I have to get a special sticker to put in his lunchbox. I have to discuss how and when he will wash his hands before and/or after he eats, whether he will sit in a special seat for lunch and snack, and what the process is if he has an anaphylactic reaction. There is a lot of paperwork involved.
But this little child of mine is a good advocate for himself. His teacher has experience with allergic reactions and is trained to use the Epi-pen if it is needed. My son knows how to ask if something has nuts in it and to refuse if other children try to offer him food.
For a mom like me, here is my big adventure--sending my 5 year old off to school despite my anxiety, my worry and fears. But isn't that what all parents are called to do?
I have looked at my boys with the idea that I am here to raise them up and let them go. That process comes through different events. Already my 5 year old is quite independent in some ways. I have been freed from the ever-persistent care of a baby. I don't have to watch my son every minute of the day to keep him out of trouble.
I am excited about sending my son off to Kindergarten. He is going to learn so much. He is on a journey to adulthood with a really big step in the morning.