I’m about to cheat . . . but it’s okay because I’m doing this to stay WITH you, Think Kit, not LEAVE you!
Day 17: Share a moment that stands out.
My most significant moment of this year wasn’t really even mine–it was my 6-year-old son Oliver’s. His first day of kindergarten.
Oliver is our oldest (we have two kid-people: Olly, and then little sis, Margot, who is 2 1/2–shall I take up saying, “Oliver is our older” since we only have 2?), so every life experience of his is already fraught with the this-is-so-new-and-scary-for-us that seems to always accompany Firsts. Oliver’s first day of kindergarten was an extra big deal to me for a couple of other reasons. One, we CHOSE his school. Meaning, we decided which IPS magnet schools to list on his lottery application, and we decided in which order to rank them. Oliver was awarded a spot at Cold Spring School, the environmental studies magnet–and the school we had marked as our first choice. So this first day and all the days that would follow were our doing.
Second big deal: Oliver has significant food allergies. At the age of one, he experienced a full-body hive breakout due to contact with peanut butter, and that incident led to allergy testing, a long list of stuff to avoid and major dietary modifications. We’ve worked hard to control his environment so he’ll be safe, so to send him off into the world of school–which would include riding a bus two times a day–that was terrifying. We do our best to educate teachers and anyone we meet about the nature of Oliver’s food allergies, but there’s always the possibility of mistakes. Mistakes that could be deadly for my son. . . . So you can imagine my anxiousness about letting him go.
A few years ago, I started a blog about Oliver and his food allergies. Never conceptualizing it as a “mom blog” or a strictly practical affair (what does a child stricken with food allergies eat, anyway???), I’ve used this space to house musings, creative writing, more, about what it’s like not only to be the mom of a food-allergic child but simply what it’s like to be a mom. It’s my attempt to be thoughtful about my journey as a parent, and I hope one day when Oliver’s on the internet and can read everything I’ve said, he doesn’t hate me too much for it.
I blogged about Olly’s first day of school over there–and it’d delight me so much if you’d check it out. Without further ado, here are a few thoughts on significance.