Friday, September 11, 2009

Emotional Wreck

*Warning: Melodramatic Post Ahead*
If you think crying on the first day of school is lame, do not read this.

I couldn't quite decide what I'd call this post. It's been a long and hard week. School started, among other things, which as you know, I have been dreading since the day Buddy was born. I remember when we first moved into our first house and I met my neighbor. She told me she sent her children to a private school and she told me how she made that decision. I told her how frightened I was to make decisions about Buddy's education and how I dreaded sending him off to school. He was probably eight weeks old at the time. Every September since then I've had a pit in my stomach as I heard all about "back to school" this and "school supplies" that. I loved school when I was a child and I highly value education now, but it doesn't matter. School = dread for me.

I made way too much of an effort to be this boy's mommy to send him off to be trained and formed by somebody else.

Not to mention, one of my cyber "buddies" went to trial today to fight for her baby. Her son's birthfather is contesting the adoption. (She'll be my real "buddy" in a few months when she speaks and presents at the awesome conference I'm planning, so I'm not totally stalking her. But I would.) The story is heart-wrenching and I have felt sick all day -- make that all week -- over this situation. This is every adoptive parent's worst nightmare. If you could, please pray that the judge will have the child's best interest in mind. Please. Read more about the story here.

I'll tell you what: putting my son on the bus for the first time this morning at around the same time as my friend was starting her trial was really bad. Oh my gosh, I hated that moment. Buddy bounded onto the bus like it was no big deal. Meanwhile Sambo was crying out his brother's name over and over again (and that's coming form a child who never speaks at all). I just wanted to bring both boys back into the house and spend the whole afternoon holding them.

This picture is seriously hard for me to look at. Isn't he too small to be getting on a bus ALONE?

The other problem with sending him to school is he's at the age where I can distinctly remember my own childhood. Before Kindergarten I have no real concrete memories. But I can remember lots about my life at his age. And it doesn't seem that long ago. Soon he'll be a pre-teen. Then he'll be a too-cool teenager. Then he'll leave me for his mission. Then he'll become a husband and father. Time goes way too quickly and while I think I do well at enjoying every day, I wish I had more time with him when he's small.

Lest I get too dramatic, here is a little recap of how the first two days of school went from his perspective.

The school did a really good job of prepping the kids and parents, so while Buddy kept telling everyone he wasn't excited for school to start "because he'd rather stay home with his mom," he actually was pretty calm about the whole experience. At the last minute, he got switched to afternoon kindergarten, which was a HUGE relief to me. I never wanted morning, but thought it would be the "right" thing to do. This is SO much better.

Anyway, on the first day of school I started the morning off with a power brunch. Buddy absolutely loves a hearty breakfast, so I made waffles, scrambled eggs, sticky buns, and juice. He was in heaven. G had an early morning meeting, so he came home after that so he could spend the morning with us too. That made Buddy almost as happy as the breakfast. After breakfast, G gave him a father's blessing. I tried to snuggle him, but he pulled away and said, "I know how much you love me" in an exasperated tone. He was ready to get the show on the road.

We all went over the school early enough to get pictures and show daddy around the school a little bit and when it was time for class to start, he walked in without any big deal.

I picked him up after school and his teacher told me he was extremely disappointed he didn't get to ride the bus. Monster cookies were waiting on the counter for him at home, but he was too excited to play outside and swap first-day-of-school stories with the neighborhood kids.

Sambo and Buddy waiting for the bus today.

Other noteworthy things about the start of school:
* He has three other children from his primary class in his school class so he's got tons of friends already.
* His happiest part of the day was: recess.
* His saddest part of the day was: not getting picked that day to show off his "Me Bag" (a bag of items he picked out to tell the class about himself-a paper and pencil, a movie, a whale, his bird book, a picture of his family.) He started to get mad but didn't let the teacher know. (He'll get his turn to share in the coming days.)
* Nothing embarrassing happened.
* He told me that they get to sit on "learning mats" when it's time to learn something new. But he was terribly disappointed that they didn't learn ANYTHING yet.
* They didn't get to read anything.
* He was very "reverent" the whole time, he says.
* He held the door open for the class today.
* The teacher asks the kids if they'd like a hug, handshake, or high-five when they leave for home and he prefers hugs.
* He gets annoyed that the teacher won't let him bring home his artwork for his mom to see. "Why would she need it? She already has one!"
* He said he had a lovely chat with the bus driver this morning on the way to school. He was the only child on the bus, if you can believe it. I don't believe him, but he says he showed the bus driver a blue heron, a green heron, and a sandhill crane as they all flew in front of the bus on the way to school.
* He almost forgot to get off the bus this afternoon because he was too busy playing "cards" on the bus with an older kid. (That is so typical of him, I can't even tell you.) The bus driver had to yell his name to get his attention after I started getting on the bus to find out where in the world he was after a large group of neighbors filed off -- and he wasn't among them.
* Nobody got in trouble in his class yet. But one boy talked without raising his hand. Buddy was relieved that the teacher didn't get mad.
* I don't believe this either, but the teacher has a pet squirrel in the classroom. A real one, he says. I suggested it was probably a guinea pig, but he got offended and said he knows a squirrel when he sees one and this was definitely a squirrel with it's bushy tail.
* Luckily he has come home happy both days with all sorts of stories to tell. So at least I know he's fitting in. And as much as I hate it, I know he's right where he should be.


Emma said...

I don't blame you for getting emotional. There were no tears when my kids happily went off to school. The tears only came when David didn't want to go one day, and I hated to see him cry.
I'm sure Buddy will have a blast in Kindergarten. I wish my kids would relay more information to me, like Buddy did. I ask "what did you do at school today?" And their response is "nothing" or "I don't know"

The Robisons said...

Michelle, you crack me up... I surpisingly was not emotional when Luke started, probably because he practically kicked me out of his classroom and I had two others waiting at the door...But I did shed a tear putting him on the bus for the first time, he was so little and there were so many BIG kids!