Thursday, August 9, 2007


Today I had a revelation.

It all started yesterday, when Lynn told me about the preschool to which she is sending Brycen here in Tennessee. It piqued my interest, so today I looked up their website. The birthday cutoff for enrollment is September 30, so for three-year-old preschool, your child must be three by September 30. Will's birthday is October 13. Hmmm... why did they choose September 30, I wondered.

I asked Tanya, my coworker and a veteran mom, about the public school cutoff, thinking maybe it was the same (and hence why the preschool had chosen that date). I'm not sure why I continue to ask Tanya ANYTHING. In the past, every answer I've ever gotten from her has been either a) awash in longwinded psychobabble or b) completely wrong. (She doesn't know I have a blog. And now I must make sure she never knows, or else delete this post!) Also, she lives in Williamson County and we live in Davidson. Nevertheless, she informed me that she had lived in Davidson County once and answered confidently that the cutoff for both counties was October 31.

Now, I don't know why I ask Tanya anything to begin with, but I have at least learned to seek out a second opinion. About 20 minutes into the Metro Nashville Public School website, after I learned oodles of minute details about MNPS I didn't particularly want to know, I finally ascertained that the birthday cutoff is September 30. I told Tanya this, and she requested that I look up Williamson's cutoff to prove she wasn't completely offbase. Yep, their cutoff is also September 30. Apparently you can raise four kids in the public school system without ever knowing this.

Anyway... although these dates vs. birthday matters always confuse me for some reason, it didn't take me long to figure out the shocking truth. Will and Sophie, in spite of being 23 months apart in age, will be in back-to-back grades! This is probably something a lot of people would've figured out earlier, like, say, once they knew their second baby's due date. But I guess I'm a little obtuse about these sorts of things and had never given it much thought. I think I'd always assumed that the cutoff was more like the end of August.

I was pretty bummed about this revelation at first. I hate to think that Sophie will always be in the shadow of her brother, and I feel like sometimes this can be the case when siblings are back to back in grades. I (very briefly) entertained thoughts of moving Will up or holding Sophie back, and while I guess both of those options could happen, I'm not going to base a decision like that on something as trivial as this.

After letting this sink in today, this evening it occurred to me that there may be great advantages to this situation. They may have a closer relationship and even share common friends. For better or worse (and this is a really scary thought) their friends could even be each other's dating pools someday! And from a selfish perspective, the convenience of having both at the same school and on the same schedule as much as possible has great appeal. I also think, if it had to be screwy like this, at least Will, the boy, will be among the oldest in his grade. The extra months of maturity may really help him. I've heard that a lot of boys end up getting held back or starting late just to give them a little extra time to mature. And Sophie, on the other hand, will probably do just fine if she happens to be a little small in stature for her grade at first.

I solicit your comments, especially any of you with siblings close in age (which I never had). How did the timing work out for you? How did it affect your lives and relationships with each other?


Anonymous said...

And while you're calculating, here's a thought: If the age to get a driver's license in TN is 16, Will will be eligible to drive shortly after he enters 10th grade! YIKES!!

Candice said...

My brother was 3 years ahead of me in school. We are almost 3 years apart in age and are very close. When I was a freshman in high school and college, he was a senior at both schools. It was really nice to have an older sibling there to show me the way around, which teachers to take, etc. We have a small group of mutual friends from school. However, I was never allowed to date any of my brother's friends. (His rule.) My parents made him take me to school. I adored it while he loathed it. I do think that it helped make us closer since we were able to experience a lot of things together.

My birthday is the day before Will's birthday. So I loved always being one of the oldest in my class. It is true that I was the first of my friends in my grade to get a driving permit. I was also one of the few sophomores driving myself to school practically the whole school year. I got to turn 18 first my senior year of high school.

My little sister's birthday is Sept. 11 and my mom had a hard time trying to decide whether or not to hold her back. (Wilson county's cut-off used to be Sept. 30th as well. I'm not sure if it's changed since my sister started over 14 years ago.) My mom eventually decided to hold her back. (She's very short and was so much smaller than her classmates.) It worked out well for her.

I don't think that it would be a negative thing to have them only one grade level apart. However, I also don't think it would hurt to hold Sophie back a year either.

PS. I can't believe that you asked Tanya. I couldn't help but laugh at that mental picture. That is so funny. I can just imagine her going on and on.

Unknown said...

First of all, thank you so much for the gift for SCott. It is so cute! Did you knock on the door and I just didn't hear you? I hate that I missed you.
Second, even after reading this post, I refuse to make my brain work enough to figure out how far apart my kids will be in school (they are 21 months apart - Camden born in October, and Scott obviously in August). My sister and I were 2 years apart in school and my husband and his brother were 1 year apart. I think we both had good experiences.
Third, I may be interested in the book club. Can you give me more info??
Thanks again!!

Amy said...

I don't think a year in school would make that much difference with your concerns. Erik was two years ahead of me and I was referred to as "Erik's sister" a lot. But then given our distinct last name, it was hard to miss. I wasn't too scarred by that.

Amy said...

Hey Kathy. I don't know how interested you are in this, but there was an article in yesterday's Tennessean about how many parents are holding kids back a year when starting kindergarden--particularly those with summer birthdays.

Kathy said...

If anyone is interested, here is the link to the story Amy mentions...