Children may begin attending the nursery class as soon as they reach the age of 18 months.
– Handbook 2: Administering the Church, Section 11.4.3
In just over a week Shimri and Shimei will be 18 months old. You’re not alone, I’m not sure how that happened so fast either. Because they can’t possibly be that old already. I know I’m definitely not ready for them to be that old. I keep focusing on the word “may” in the instructions above. They may start nursery at 18 months, but they don’t have to. So maybe I’ll just keep them with me for a while longer.
You see, I went in to teaching as a career in large part because I love watching people learn. I love seeing that light come on in their eyes. I love watching people put together the pieces of the world till they make sense. And it has been my greatest privilege and honor to be able to be there for all of those moments in our kids’ lives thus far. There have been very few moments where I have not been there to see Shimri and Shimei learn something. I know everything they know because I’ve watched them learn it. I’ve been there when they figured things out. I’ve watched them work out a logic for what they see around them. And it has been wonderful.
But with them starting nursery there will suddenly be other teachers in their lives. There will be two hours each week when I’m not watching them learn. I won’t get to see that light come on when they figure something out in nursery. I’ll miss that. I had the same reservations when Iddo started nursery almost two years ago. Our kids are one of my greatest sources of entertainment and I miss them when I’m not with them.
Isn’t that the point though? I want our children to be independent. To go out into the world and learn all kinds of things that I haven’t even thought of yet so I can’t even begin to teach it to them. Shimri is going to take some time to warm up to the idea of nursery (not being away from me, but just the whole situation will need to be carefully observed and judged by her, just like she does all new situations). Shimei is going to bound in and take over the place. And Iddo will be there for the next two months to make sure they’re both okay before she starts Sunbeams.
They will all be fine in nursery. But this is the first in a long line of letting-gos I’ll have to do over the next many years. And while they’re ready for it, maybe I’m not.