I made the decision to take each of my three boys school shopping alone. First Wyatt, then Jack and finally Logan. It's honestly the best decision I've made in a while.
It was the perfect opportunity to spend a little extra time one on one with each of my boys, and to try and wrap my head around the idea of them going to public school and growing up right before my eyes.
As we tried on jeans after pair of jeans, Jack confided in me that he was worried about Logan worrying about him. As Logan chose which shirt would best match his new basketball shorts, he told me that it was good he and Jack would be in separate classrooms because then they wouldn't fight. And as Wyatt chose which underwear he wanted (bugs or arrows) we discussed all the things he had to look forward to in kindergarten... New friends, choice time, and the chance to learn to read like his big brothers.
Funny enough, Wyatt seems the least worried of the three. He's excited for school and feels really positive about it. Jack is a little anxious about bullies and how Logan will fare. Logan is, hands down, the most worried. He's concerned about Jack making good choices without him there to enforce it (ha!), he's very worried about how Wyatt will do, and is also very focused on a fear of bullies. (And thinking he will need to beat them up.)
I think TV shows puff up the reality of bullies and have made my kids think they are a bigger problem than they are (at least at the third grade level), and I find it ironic that the same could be said of twins in the media. The representation of twins is rarely accurate, usually leaning too far to either side of the truth (ie twins that are secret-language-sharing super-close or twins that despise each other and wish each other dead) when reality is somewhere in the middle of those extremes. I imagine the truth about bullies is also somewhere in the middle. Sure, there might be a trouble maker in the boys' classrooms, but it's unlikely he's going to flush their heads in the toilet or start a fist fight after lunch.
I have been praying a lot about their school experience, and when I start to worry, I tell myself that if it doesn't work out, I can always go back to homeschooling. Just knowing I have options helps me keep calm. But if I'm being honest, I really think school is going to be good for them. Challenging and trying at times, but really good. They need to stretch and grow in new ways. Wyatt needs to learn to take direction from someone other than his parents; and the twins need the opportunity to develop as individuals.
As much as it kills me for my kids to have experiences separate from me, I know that part of being a good mom is knowing when to let go. This is, by far, the most challenging part of parenting for me. Baths, bedtime, feeding... dealing with incessant whining, laundry, the messes... those I can deal with much easier than I can deal with letting them spread their wings.
But I'm hoping that if I step back for just a moment, I'll get to witness a beautiful flight.