Mothers with one or more children often face a life change when their youngest heads off to kindergarten for a full day. They feel restless unless they are a working mother because their daily routines suddenly change. They are open to new opportunities but aren't sure how to focus their energies. It seems to be helpful to know you are not alone with this new development and have many options.
As I sit here looking over classroom supply lists and counting down the last days of summer vacation, I am thinking about you. My "baby" will be entering your classroom in a few short weeks. She will be moving on to the "big school" (as she calls it), and she is so excited. I, on the other hand, am a little sad and scared.
When did you get so big? Not that long ago you were struggling to find steps but this morning you got dressed all by yourself. I beamed as you walked out of your room with a perfectly paired outfit; so proud but secretly relieved to see you struggle with the buttons on your shirt. Did you leave them for me?
School starts back up in a few short weeks, and the youngest students will embark on an entirely new adventure - kindergarten. As they stock up on newly-sharpened pencils and colorful lunchboxes, many parents are wondering, "is my child really ready for this first big educational step, and what does it mean to be kindergarten-ready anyway?"
In New York City, over 150,000 children under five are poor. Last year, nearly 20,000 of these children slept in homeless shelters - enough to fill Madison Square Garden. From the moment they're born, children in poverty face an uphill struggle to survive, thrive and learn with so many odds stacked against them.
My son heard me gasp aloud the other day when I saw a headline about the latest "bathroom bill" in the U.S. "What?" he asked. I said that some politicians passed a law that would require transgender men like me to use the women's bathroom, and transgender women to use the men's. His eyes widened and he said quickly, "But that's in other countries, right?" Yes, I assured him.