Today, Sarah started asking a few school-related questions. I realize educational philosophies vary greatly from family to family and depending on the season, day, or even hour, within a family. We have done little as far as formal learning at the preschool level for Sarah, and will begin as her interests lead in kindergarten, still allowing her to do what's most important for a five year old, in our opinion - to play. Anyway, with that disclaimer out there, the conversation played out like this.
Sarah: Mommy, am I old enough to go to school?
Me: Yes, Sarah. You are a kindergartener in the fall.
Sarah: Okay. I want to go to school.
Me: What do you want to do at school?
Me: Well, you probably get to play a lot more at home than you would in kindergarten. A lot of your day is spent at a desk or table in school.
Sarah: (Not wasting a split-second in replying) Okay, nevermind. I don't want to go to school.
This might not seem like a revolutionary conversation. And it probably wasn't, but you guys. This. This is what gives me rest. Reassurance that we're doing the right thing.
I love that my play-loving, creative, free-spirit can let her hair down, take her shoes off, and swing/bounce/roll/climb all day until her heart is content. I love that she's not confined to a chair in the classroom, because you know what? Honestly, I'm not sure she'd stay there. And you know what else? That's okay. Because she's Sarah. And she's precious. And she's exactly the way God created her. Spunky, energetic, whimsical, and wiggly.
She's beautiful. And loving. And sweet. My goodness, she must give me 200 hugs every day. And I'm not even her favorite. (It's no secret. She's a daddy's girl. Her second favorite is Noah.)
She's my brave, fearless girl. She's the one who puts on a dress to go climb a tree. Her spirit just soars. It's beautiful to watch. She's everything I'm not. I don't want to extinguish that. If I can, I want to do everything possible to fan her unique flame.
I am not detracting from the value of formal education. I think it's so very important. But I also think being five is a once in a lifetime experience. And it's okay to spend it playing and wiggling. She's got the rest of her life to be serious and sit still.
But...if I know Sarah, she'll find a way around it. At least, for her sake, I hope she does.
This girl was born to fly.