IT Happened.

It happened.

There was nothing I could do to avoid it. It was going to happen whether or not I was ready. And I wasn’t ready.

My children started school.

I’ve been through some schooling with them already. Both of them did 2 years of playschool each, and Mr Man had already done his stint in kindergarten.

But there was something that was still so … fluffy … about it all.

I mean, my kids learned a TON in preschool. They had amazing teachers that truly made an impact on their lives and gave me extremely high expectations of teachers in the future. They learned more than I had expected to be honest, and they were prepared for the next steps of their schooling.

Last year, Mr Man went to a great school in the west end that was an art-based school. (In our town, you have the ability to pick your own school as long as you can get your child there and pick them up – you don’t need to go to the neighbourhood school). This year, we decided that we would switch to French Immersion. Both Chef Husband and I grew up in french immersion and we lived in Montreal for 2 years working mostly in french. We felt that it would be a good idea for our kids to learn the other official language of our country.

We had friends going to this school. Mr Man’s best friend from preschool went there as did another child from his class that he was close to. Miss A’s best friend from preschool was going to be going there and her older brother had been there for a few years. We heard positive things about both the school and its principal. So we went for it.

Heart palpitations, cold sweats and holding my breath. Oh they were fine. But I was being a nervous mom. This was a big choice. Was it the right one? I knew nothing about how they dealt with allergies or celiac disease. I didn’t know the teachers. I didn’t know the community.

Fast forward to last Tuesday. Mr Man’s first day. We found out on the weekend that he and his girlie bestie from preschool would be in the same class. Sigh of relief from all of us. This would make the transition for him easier. I brought him to school that morning and a tear came to my eyes. Well, if I’m being honest it was more than one tear, but they did not escape my eyes that morning. He found his friend before going in to class and they were glued together. He was going to be fine. I told his teacher about his peanut allergy and his celiac disease. Her response was that she was very familiar with gluten-free living. I exhaled a little bit.

(*Note: I have since sat down with Mr Man’s teacher and when she says she was very familiar with the disease she wasn’t kidding. I feel very comfortable with her knowledge of celiac!!)
Mr Man is very well versed in his allergy and his inability to share food, touch others’ food, etc. I’ve taught him to be his own advocate and it’s paying off. He’s found another “buddy” in class with a peanut allergy too. He’s going to be okay.
Miss A’s first day was Wednesday. That day, the tears flowed. She’s my baby. My last little one being sent off to school and it’s shocking me to the core. She’s so little, and I just want to cuddle with her and keep her close. I know that I need to let her soar and discover her own way, and I’m trying to let her do that, despite the fact that I don’t feel ready. But it can’t be about me.
Miss A’s teacher didn’t know what celiac disease was. But she’s learning. I sat down with her on the 2nd day and provided her with some literature on celiac disease. I’ve spoken to her about allergies and prevention within the classroom. I will be her expert, and I will help to keep Miss A safe. They do kinder-cooking in kindergarten at this school once a month. I’m going to provide class-friendly recipes that everyone can enjoy so that no one gets left out and no one needs to stay home that day. I will teach her so that next time she has an allergic child or celiac child in her class, she will be confident, and she will know what celiac disease is.
This week I sit down with the principal to find out all about their allergy policies and how they keep children safe. I’m excited to do this. It’s my responsibility as a parent to do this. I’m ready for this part.
I’m just not sure I’m ready for them to grow up quite yet.
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