Bennett Is Heading to School! Can You Believe It?

Before my son Bennett was born, I thought parents were exaggerating when they said their kids “grew up too fast.” But now I’ve come around! It feels like Bennett should still be a baby, but somehow, he’s getting ready to start preschool this month.

I still can’t believe it. The school schedule isn’t anything too serious — he’ll go to a Presbyterian church near our house two mornings a week — but it’s still school. Dropping him off there will be a big change of pace for our little family.

The transition feels bittersweet to me: On the one hand, I want time to slow down, but on the other, I know it will be good for Bennett to make friends and learn new things in preschool. He’s already such a curious little guy! A while back, we enrolled him in once-a-week classes through a program in Durham called My Little Farmer, and he absolutely loved them.

We picked out those classes partly because Bennett adores animals (you might remember how excited he was to pet the 5-day-old goat that came to story time at our library) and partly because farming is in our family’s blood. My granddad was a dairy farmer in Iowa, and my mom grew up on a farm. So, you never know if it might be Bennett’s career! Every week, he spends a few hours with other kids ages 1–9, reading stories, singing songs, feeding real farm animals, and even pretending to pick up fake poop.

Given how much he enjoys My Little Farmer, he’ll probably have a blast listening to stories and doing crafts in preschool. We’ll just have to make sure he doesn’t tear them up afterward! On our recent family trip to Myrtle Beach for a trade show, he only wanted to build sandcastles with me. Then, he giggled while he destroyed every single one of them. I think he enjoyed the destruction even more than making the castles in the first place.

If you’re a parent with school-aged kids, I’d love to hear how you felt when you first sent them to school. Were you terrified? Sad? Excited to have time to clean the house and relax again? Does the “first day of school” moment get easier over the years, or is dropping them off for seventh grade just as tough as walking them to kindergarten? How do you mark those milestones?

Next time you call to place an order, let me know what your experience was like. You can also click here to email me. I’m still pretty new to this fatherhood thing, so I’ll take all the advice I can get!

-Josh Walker