I have had some nervous energy, just about all day. I haven't been able to get settled into my skin. I even cooked tonight thinking it would normalize things around here. I am withdrawn, answering with "yes" and "no", not adding much to the conversation. I know something is bothering me. I think he knows I'm bothered.
I thought I wouldn't get anxious. I didn't think it would get to me. I can't believe it is getting to me! I mean I have been through this 3 times already. I knew we were going to do this. This is what we want, we want this next step for him!
Today is the day. 10am. The last step before it is completely out of our hands and the future of our child rests on someone else. This is the last step of our application process for Pre-K at Dallas' top co-ed private school.
It is crazy, right. We filled out a 6 page application on our child. His likes, dislikes, family life, strongest attributes and so on. The anxiety started there - but Christmas was around the corner so there were plenty of things to be anxious about! We submitted the application 4 days ahead of the deadline. My friend Rebekah, who is also applying, submitted the night before the deadline. She thinks we won't get it - they have already selected the kids they want from those that first submitted. Could that be true? NO, well maybe? Who knows!
We send off for the psychiatrist administered IQ test, for our 4 year old! We got a December 21 IQ testing date. On December 21, Jake and his daddy go for the test. The psychiatrist is late by 15 minutes. She later tells my husband that she has a new born, she is not sleeping and it was a rough morning. SO THRILLED to be your first appointment. I can only imagine how well this test went! 2nd step - done!
Fast forward into 2012 - I receive an email from Jake's current school asking if I will come in so they can do a presentation on how wonderful their school is, and what the school can offer Jake AND all he will miss by moving to his brother's 15 year (Pre-K, K, Primer 1 - 12) school. Within the week I get another email saying the school has sent all of Jake's transcripts, really?!?! he is 4, along with the Teacher Assessment to where we are applying. That whole transcript thing is feeling a little like the "permanent file" we were always threatened with in school. We hope the teacher gave him a good recommendation. Jake's current school feels children should stay in their school until the child completels his current education plane of learning. Jake is leaving mid plane! Step 3 - done
Step 4 - Pre-K Pre-visit. Let's be clear, I do not think this is a pre-visit. I think this is an initial assessment of my child. I take Jake early - big mistake - for the pre-visit. That just means we were sitting, sorry standing, around the Lower School administrative office waiting for our visit to start. Word to the wise - if you are doing step 4 - walk in 2 minutes before is starts. Jake wanted to sit on the floor. He asked "when can we go" and telling me "I want to go play." I give him the mom eyes, he is immune! Thankfully, the visit starts.
We walk our children in a single file line through the breezeway to the Early Education Building, AKA Pre-K and K classes. He is to greet the Head Mistress of the Early Education Program. THANKFULLY - he reaches out, shakes her hand and tells her his name. Now she already knows this - 1 he has a sticker on with his name on it, 2 - he has a brother that has gone to school here for 4 years, so Jake has been at the school many times and 3 - I am the Teacher Appreciation Co-Chair this year and I work with the Head Mistress on luncheons and special events for the teachers! He does better than most in this one on one. We head off to the official pre- "but really un-official we are already watching your child" visit. Jake is the first through the door. He is asked his name, to get him talking. He gives them all three names! He is asked about his brother and Jake is good as gold. He moves from task to task. Not prompted. The teachers move around the room - working with the kids. He is having a good time.
There are parents there - I am betting with only one child (I know don't hate I was once a hover mother of only one - but with two who has the time or stamina to hover over both) who are sitting right next to the child, prompting him. I am hanging out by the door - I don't ever move, I don't ever answer for Jake. Both parents of one little boy are criss cross apple sauce on the rug reading him a book - he isn't hanging with his peeps, or meeting the teachers. One "community member" community meaning - a sibling, alumni or teacher's child - has one in the stroller, one doing the pre-visit, one in what looks like he stepped out of a Ralph Lauren catalog and one in belly - oh wait there are two other children, but not with us here today. She is feeding Fruit Loops - clearly she isn't reading the internet about all the dye in those foods since she has 6 children, probably doesn't have tv either!! In our group of 12 kids - we have 6 community kids, including Jake!
38 minutes later - the visit is over. Jake and I thank the Head Mistress and we are out of there. He is excited to go back for the real visit, HA we just had one!!! Step 4 - done
So, this brings me back to being anxious, about tomorrow, Step 5. Jake completely respects his dad more than he respects me, we know this, so we plan on this. Dad is taking Jake again for this important visit. I suspect it will be a little more of the same as our pre-visit wink-wink, but with a higher intensity level. Dad will have to sit in the admin office while Jake goes on by himself. No parents allowed.
I am anxious for Jake having to go this part alone. I know he is a very independent child, who will probably do well, have fun, hanging with his peeps and talking with the teachers. But this is my baby, who is taking steps that determines his future and makes him just that small little bit more independent from us and preparing him for the future. I'm not sure I am ready for our sweet baby to grow up!
Wither Jake gets in or not, he is at a wonderful school. We want what is best for Jake whatever that may be. So, when we get that letter on March 9 it won't change how we feel about Jake or how much we love him. It will just be a letter than says this school is a good fit or not! Either way, we know Jake will be just fine!