Will he cling to me and not want to participate?
Will he yell at the other kids or the teacher?
Will he get frustrated and cry because everything is so new and different?
My old worry-filled self returns with this new undertaking. My not so little boy starts Junior Kindergarten next Tuesday.
I know any of these issues that might arise, will only last the first few days, and he will eventually become very comfortable in his classroom, with his teacher, and all his new friends.
That last part is what worries me the most. Friends. My son loves playing with other kids at the park, and his cousins that he sees every weekend, but this is different. Who are these kids? Do they come from strong Catholic families? Do their parents take them to Mass? Do they pray before bed and read Bible stories? Do they know who built the Ark? (“Noah! Noah! Brother Noah built the Ark!” Sorry, we’re still listening to that Veggie Tales CD in the van…)
These could be the friends he has for the rest of his life. Their parents, are the ones that I have to make friends with (which is terrifying on an entire different level due to my own shyness). Will they be a good influence?
So many questions. So much unknown. So much to worry about and get myself worked up about. I am trying really hard to not even think about it, but that isn’t the right answer. I know I should also look at it in a positive light. And of course pray about it.
If there aren’t that many other kids that attend Mass regularly in his class, maybe he can be the one to encourage them to go. Maybe he will teach them all about his favourite Bible stories, and Veggie Tale songs.
Is that a tall order to ask of a not even 4 year old? Perhaps. It’s not like I have been coaching him on it, telling him to ask the other kids which Mass they attend. Or worse, only telling him he can be friends with kids that go. I’m hoping it comes up casually on conversation, you know, between debates over Cars vs Cars 2, and Dora vs Diego.
But that brings me to another issue…do I ask the other parents which Mass they go to? I don’t want to come off pushy or “mightier than thou” ish. I do genuinely want to know which Mass they attend at which Parish, in hopes of seeing them there, and our kids sitting together during the children’s liturgy. But I am also not stupid, and I know that the majority of the families that send their kids to Catholic school aren’t practising Catholics. Is this just an issue in my part of Ontario, or is this common where you live too? Our Catholic school board is publicly funded (you decide on your property taxes if you are supporting the Public School or the Separate, Catholic, School).
As you can see, I have a million questions, and I want to hear how you handled all of this, or do you have back to school prayer you could share.