In all the excitement of sending my oldest, Luke, off to his new part-time kindergarten class this fall, I failed to realize that I, too, am starting school in a whole new capacity this year. Granted, I also joined the ACS staff as a part-time graphic designer, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

What I’m talking about is being an elementary school parent!

A New Drill

It snuck up on me.

We sent Luke to preschool at ACS last year, so I guess in some ways I thought I knew the drill! But us preschool parents were pampered. Custom pickup times, our own parking spaces, no homework…!

Kindergarten, however, means we’ve been channeled into the ACS river (Edsby joke, anyone?), and little ol’ me was a little unprepared for the experience.

Suddenly we’re invited to parent committees and volunteer days and required to check Luke’s backpack for paperwork—half of which is his and half of which is MINE! We park down the hill and my three-year-old refuses to walk so I tow her up (both ways!) in the wagon to drop Luke off at his class.

More Familiar Faces

Yes, there have been some surprising adjustments.

But despite my list of petty grievances, I find myself looking forward to our school days (and not just because I go from two children to one for a few hours). After years of lonely mom-life, now I get to chat with old and new friends as we wait for the bell to ring. While preschool parking meant I could just hop in my car and leave, now I get to squeeze in a quick walk with ever-more familiar faces.

Although my new work hours mean I haven’t been able to volunteer in his class, I am so blessed by the abundance of parent volunteers who’ve filled the gap. Even things like Edsby give me a window into the wider school life that is starting to feel like my community.

It’s hard to imagine I’d ever feel otherwise, as an alumni who spent her entire school career at ACS, but 15 years away isn’t insignificant!

Marble Mazes and Library Day

Even more rewarding, of course, is watching Luke thrive in his new class.

Most of what I hear about from him is how far he got on the marble maze on a given day, but I can see the evidence of his learning in what happens at home. His drawings are creative and confident, he practices letters for fun, and he asks me constantly to confirm whether or not ___ starts with ___.

Even though we visit the public library regularly, he’s thrilled to bring home his choice from the school library each Tuesday and then treat us to reading it to him as many times as we can before returning it the next week.

I overheard him bragging to his neighbour friend about his teacher, comparing class lists (“we both have a Levi!”), and realize how much he feels at home. He asks me every night if tomorrow is a school day and celebrates when the answer is yes!

As we round out month three of kindergarten, I’m immensely grateful. Each new parenting season is an adjustment, and I’m thankful that part-time scheduling, wonderful ACS staff, and an engaged community have helped welcome us into these new roles.