This is one that is REALLY on my mind today…..starting school.
Today, in just a few hours actually, DS will have his first day at public school. It’s a big day in our house, lemme tell you. As a non-vaccinating mom who tends to buck the system and sheep-like behavior in general, this was a tough choice, and a rather HUGE personal challenge to overcome.
For the last few years, he’s attended a Montessori Elementary School. We liked it, as I have mentioned before, but it was far from our house, and I took him. I didn’t mind, but it made for a LONG day for him, leaving the house at 7:15 and not returning until nearly 7 at night. Then it was dinner, homework, quality minutes and bedtime for both of us. We also knew that it was only available thru the 6th grade, so a transition would have to be made….somewhere. We made the decision together to transfer, using the last 2 years of his Elementary education to adjust to the public school life, before moving to middle school. He’s been very excited about it, and looking forward to the change, which is MEGA unusual for him. He’s talked non-stop about the great things he’s gonna get to do when he goes to his NEW school (yes, it’s always in caps coming out of his mouth)
Until last night.
I could see him getting kinda wound up as bedtime approached. I knew where we were headed, and tried to maintain a constant stream of “how exciting that you get to ride the bus tomorrow!” and “we’ll put your lunch money right in this pocket here” (he tends to be a bit ocd like his momma!). When bedtime came, I could hear the little waver in his voice at the “night mom”. What’s a matter bud? I’m nervous. Well, that’s perfectly normal (says the seemingly calm mom whos heart is cracking into pieces over her baby being scared) this is a big change for you. I’m ok (he wavers) We chat for a few more minutes, and I tuck him in and toddle off to my own room to read. I didn’t even make it to the bed before turning around and going back. “Hey buddy” hi came the tiny little reply from my 10 year old angel who was hiding under he pillow so I wouldn’t see the tears. “Look, I know you are scared. We all are a little nervous. That’s ok. It’s what life is about. Sometimes we have to do new things, and that can be scary. But if you don’t start anything new, how will you ever learn? (one bright blue very damp eye peeks out from under the pillow) ok…… “You have such a great opportunity available to you. You’re gonna ride a bus, buy your own lunch in a real cafeteria, meet new friends, have a playground (the other school didn’t) and do some great things. Yes, it’s all new, and yes, it’s all a bit scary, but I’ll still be here waiting for you. New stuff is good, it makes us who we are. And you are smart, and funny and this is like an adventure!” (he’s smiling now) “You know, some people never do anything new, because they are scared. They are afraid people will look at them, or that they’ll mess up, and because of that, they never get to have an adventure. You are so lucky, luckier than a lot of grown ups. YOU get to have an adventure, and you were brave enough to choose that adventure. I’m proud of you” The “Thanks mom” was reward enough.
So after another kiss, and another tuck in of him, and da dog, I closed the door and headed back to my room, realizing that altho his schooling didn’t start til the next day, da mom had gotten a pretty good lesson herself that night.