Edgar was due to arrive on Planet Earth sometime in late-September 2005. I like to believe that as he was anxious to get things going–to smell the flowers, feel the sunshine on his face–he decided to come five weeks early. He was small at a mere five pounds and no change; and today, at 5-1/2, we are still waiting for him to hit 35 pounds. His gifts to the world, though not yet fully realized but most assuredly hinted at, are many. He will make this world a better place–and, in fact, I might argue, already has.
Last year at the end of his preschool year it was fairly clear that in terms of social maturity, Edgar (like many, including some of the most fascinating and talented of adults) was still a work in progress. We could have opted to offer him another year of preschool and hold off starting him in Kindergarten until September 2011; but we didn’t. We watched him blossom in terms of his intellectual curiosity and felt that the academic challenge of Kindergarten was best for him. It is not a decision we regret.
But socially, Edgar continues roughly where he started in September. There have certainly been some strides; but overall, he remains “young.” He doesn’t misbehave, isn’t a distraction, and, as one of his teachers has remarked, “doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,” but the social cues and norms that are expected of Kindergarteners are occasionally lost on Edgar.
He may very well one day be a poet or a sculptor (or both), but for now he is a student; and following a very reasonable set of expectations and established routines is part of what he must do. And right now he sometimes can’t–not that he won’t, but he can’t. He’s just not ready yet. So for that reason–and knowing the very capable hands to which we have entrusted his education–we made the decision to allow Edgar an additional year in Kindergarten to grow–literally and figuratively.
Have we made the right decision? Only time–and Edgar–will tell us that. But the decision was made without force; it revealed itself organically, gently–just the way Edgar likes to do business. It felt right–and, as parents, sometimes all you have is your gut.
If Edgar had joined the world “on time,” this would not even be an issue. He would have missed the technical “cut-off” for Kindergarten and currently be in preschool as I write. But if you ask me, I am glad he came when he came–when he was ready. Edgar may not do things “on time,” but he does do them in his time. And lucky us that we can sit back, witnesses to a spirit like few others, one that will continue to be nurtured with the gift of time.