For the last time I walked into this room and sat at this table.
Four years ago I walked in with my 7 month old baby, and Brandon at my side. This was an exciting moment, our first parent-teacher conference. Even though it was only preschool it was such a big step. I was no longer the teacher welcoming in nervous, or excited parents, but I was that parent. The one the teacher smiles at, asks to sit, and then begins to tell them about their child.
This conference did not go as I expected and my smile, turned to a scowl, and then to tears. Unfortunately, this was not the only time I cried at a conference. Last week I went to a conference for my middle son and when I walked into the room I saw that all was ready for me. At the empty table where we would sit was a full box of kleenex. Oh, yes, my tears are expected and prepared for.
Four years later I am once again at that little preschool table. This time it is for that little 7 month old baby that came with me the first time. This time I came alone. Not even Brandon came with for moral support. This time I was there to hear about my youngest, my baby, my last one, the one about to turn 5.
It was a new teacher but the conversation was the same. For the third time it was recommended that my beautiful, amazing, smart, funny, active boy wait one more year for Kindergarten. This time I did not react with anger or sadness. I smiled and thanked the teacher for her honesty and for truly knowing my son. We were on the fence with what to do for school next year and her knowledge of my son helped to solidify the decision.
Three times I have sat at this table (okay actually four, we did it twice for Jack). Three times I have been told my son was not ready for kindergarten and should wait. Twice it was for social and emotional development, once it was for academic.
Each time the decision on what to do was all consuming, and sometimes overwhelming. Thinking of pros and cons, what this decision would do for my son's future, what was truly best for that particular son, consumed me.
One son we kept at this same preschool for two years.
One son we decided at the last minute to send to kindergarten.
One son we will wait but move to a pre-K closer to home.
For the last time I sat at this table. This time I did not cry, I laughed, I listened, I talked. But I did not cry.
I cried later realizing the end of an era for my boys and me.