He’s Ready, But Am I?: Off to Kindergarten During a Global Pandemic


It’s almost Fall 2020, and my oldest is going to kindergarten. I am feeling all of the emotions. I’ve been excited for him and eager to see how he will excel in this new learning environment. I have been sad for myself and my younger son, as I know we will miss him dearly while he is away from us longer than he has ever been before. For months, maybe years, I have anticipated this milestone, worried about how I would handle it, and joked that perhaps I would just keep him home. I worried, not for him, but for me and the loss of the extra time we have always had together. 


As the global pandemic has drastically changed our lives in the last few months, my view of my son going to school has changed a bit. Worry continues to be the dominant emotion I have about sending my oldest to kindergarten. I was so concerned about this milestone, but never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate this taking place during a global pandemic. 
a boy in a striped shirt with a backpack as he turns to look back at his parents heading to his first day of kindergarten
As I prepare to send my son to kindergarten, I worry about being able to connect with his teacher and the families of his classmates. I worry about him missing out on all the extra activities that are typically part of an elementary school day and year. I  worry about cancelations that could cause the year to be disjointed and confusing. I worry about him not connecting with his classmates and adults at school amid all the safety rules and regulations. I am consumed with worry about all the unknown aspects of the year ahead.
Do you know who has not one ounce of worry? My son. He is still excited to go to kindergarten. He is eager to meet new friends and see what going to a big school is all about. He loves to learn and is excited about all the new learning activities kindergarten will bring. While every kid is different, this is where my son is in heading to kindergarten. Worry may be consuming me, but it has no part in him. As we prepare for school this fall, I am ready to take it as it comes and feed off of my son’s excitement. I will see the differences more than he will, so I hope to simply be excited for him and ready for him to start his school career even during a global pandemic with all of its uncertainty and challenges.
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Katie is a Des Peres mom of two young boys, Trace (2014) and Henry (2016). Katie stays home with her boys most of the time but also spends a bit of time away as a high school lacrosse coach. Katie enjoys connecting with other moms to run, meet at parks, explore new restaurants, listen to live music and discuss books. Katie and her boys can be found enjoying many activities around St. Louis including the Science Center, Zoo, Magic House, Museum of Transportation, Urban Fort and Frisco Train Store, but what they enjoy most is just being outdoors. They have tried many of the parks around St. Louis City and county and also love hiking trails at Laumeier Sculpture Park, Powder Valley and Shaw Nature Reserve. Katie and her family love all that St. Louis has to offer for families of young children and can most often be found taking advantage of all of the many opportunities.