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We are new parents, so having never done any of this before, we tread lightly and research everything.

Our 2 1/2 year old son starts part-time pre-school on Tuesday. It seems so young. When he was born, my mind was set that he would start pre-school around 4 years old. I think that’s a normal age???  But, we decided it would be so great if our son could be in a French immersion school, which it turns out is easier the earlier you start (especially if, like us, you don’t speak the 2nd language at home) and so we enrolled our son, 2 days per week in French immersion pre-school.

I wasn’t anxious when I had to go back to work and start him part-time with a co-shared nanny. Nor was I anxious when he started full-time at a new (and wonderful) daycare. Why am I anxious now? Is it because the word ‘school’ carries with it so much more meaning?

When I was young, school wasn’t easy for me. We moved around a lot and I was constantly having to make new friends. My studies suffered and I felt less than confident when being called during class.

As I entered my high school years, there was more stability and my grades improved dramatically, but I never forgot those school yard feelings of inadequacy and always felt empathy for those of ‘us’ on the outskirts of all that was deemed popular and cool.

Our son will be entering a school where they only speak French. We do not speak French at home. How will he absorb into this new little community? How many of the other kids have non-French speaking parents at home?  Will I be putting him into a situation where he feels inadequate? Or, because we’ve started him early, will he fit right in and catch on quickly? Are my fears ghosts of feelings past? And, finally, will I cry like a great big baby when I have to leave him in his classroom, walk to my car, go to work and pretend to have put on my big girl panties that morning?

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