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Monday, September 14, 2009

Good Enough

He calmly dressed in the clothes he'd chosen a full week earlier (his favorite new Wolverine shirt, of course. Couture is important @ Casa de Dummies).

He took his morning milk like always, but was too nervous to finish it, or to eat anything else.

He sat quietly through Ben 10 starring at it without much reaction, even during the theme song at the beginning. Normally, that is his favorite part.

He was nervous. Obviously, nervous.

But, he wasn't hostile, or uncooperative, or tearful.

Not this year.

This year, he was just nervously quiet; too quiet?

We drove the entire way to school without a single word exchanged between the two of us (we'd both said all we needed to in the few days before), while #3 chit chatted for the duration (mostly to himself with the occassional response required from me) like always.

When we arrived, I went around to open his door, his only words were, "Mommy, I don't want to go to school," before his eyes filled with tears.

My heart tore a little as he wiped them away, trying to be brave, like brother.

I saw a hint of a smile as we ran through the rain. He'd noticed a friend getting out of his car and racing towards the door also.

#2 was the first one to the classroom door, and the last one to enter it.

He slowly shrugged out of his backpack, then peeled off his rain coat.

He tried out three different hooks before he settled on the one that would be just right for the storing of his belongings.

He peeked under his eyelashes at all of the other children as they excitedly ran down the hall, threw kisses at their mommies, and chatted happily as they joined their classmates at the coloring table (or the block center, or the book center, or whatever center floated their boats).

He demanded two hugs and three kisses in the hallway.

He only required a few forceful bumps to the backs of heels with the stroller (and perhaps a swift kick or two from #3, which were totally unexpected, but extremely useful and effective) to get him into the classroom.

No dragging, no pulling, no pushing.

No screaming, no crying, no running.

I didn't threaten him, or bribe him, or trick him or lie.

He went in mostly on his own.

He asked for another round of lovin' ("A long hug, please," he whispered in my ear), blinked (once for yes, twice for no) to acknowledge that he heard his teachers greet him, and then proceeded (thanks to the firm grip his teacher had on his hand) to the carpet to join his classmates.

I waved oncce more and wheeled #3 (trying not to run, but desperately wanting to before he changed his mind) out the door and down the hall.

We buckled up and raced around the building to peer through his clasroom window.

And, what I saw made me tear up.

My viciously-reluctant-shy-to-a-fault-opinionated-and-full-of-as-much-angst-as-an-extra-in-Twilight little boy had joined his class for circle time.

He may not have been sitting near them (or sitting at all), or singing along with their childish songs, but he was there; standing a few feet behind them, hands behind his back, quietly watching his teacher.

He wasn't banging on the window and yelling, "Don't leave! Mommy! Don't! Leave!", like last year.

He hadn't put himself in a chair in the corner, to isolate himself from the class, like last year.

He wasn't crying, or brooding, or attempting to run at full speed from the classroom, like last year.

His first day may not have been great like Emma's, or Braden's, or Jacob's, or Maddie's, but it was good enough.

Good enough for me to be proud to call the nicely dressed kid with the social skills of a lamppost mine.


Amanda {My Life Badly Written} said...

OMG that made me tear up!

What a brave little boy you must be so proud!!!

Barely Domestic Mama said...

The social skills of a lamppost?! That made me giggle.

Sounds like this year was easier than last year. Here's hoping it gets easier through the years. :)

blueviolet said...

Awww...your little lamppost is growing up. That's a very sweet story and I'm glad he's doing ok with the transition.

Kathy B! said...

Your little lamppost is doing just fine :) Each year it gets easier, and that is almost the saddest part of all.

Jennifer said...

Wow. This hurts my heart a little. From the way you write about him he is the one that runs full force into the face of danger and he's scared of school??? I think I want to shed a little tear from him. Poor baby. This is the part of parenting I hate because you have to fight every sense of your being to not run in and grab him and hug him and protect him. You are a stong, good mommy.

Mira is triplet crown said...

Ugh, that just breaks your heart. Now I'm all wondering if I'll have one like that or no. That would suck. At least the kids will have each other at first. Wonder why he hates school so much?

ck said...

Awww...#2! What a sweetie.

I have to say, that's how it went for my first daughter last year, and as hard as it was, it was a little harder this year when I had to ask her to come back out of the classroom for a hug.

rheanne said...

I love that he asked for a long hug at the door. My oldest son skips into his classroom and has since day one. My littlest son just started last week and we have heard each day that he is done with school and he's not going back. We deal with tears and iron grips at the door. What an emotional journey this parenting thing is!

Mama Cas said...

Somehow, when they try to be brave and blink back the tears? That's the most heartbreaking thing! I'd almost rather see a full-on tantrum so I don't feel so bad about leaving.

lynne b. [my life in blog] said...

awww. that is pitiful. i think i was the same way entering 1st grade. let me tell ya i begged my mom to walk me in. begged her. & when she finally did...a kid tripped her & she fell. it was awful & to this day i think i still feel guilty.

Life with Kaishon said...

This made me cry. School is so hard for some kids. Kaish has a nightmarish time too. It makes me cry. I hope the year turns good : ) If only we were all very rich and could put our kids in a Friends school they might be happier. That education is so hands on and extraordinary : )

confused homemaker said...

It's hard to get into school for some kids, I think it's totally not fair that we put kids into situations that we adults would be way too awkward to do.

SupahMommy said...

long hug.. ughhh my heart lost all of it's air.. sweet boy.

i used to cry in 3rd grade.
and i wish i had gotten a long hug

our b life said...

Oh the first day memories. I love how you wrote this one down. Definately a keeper.

WhisperingWriter said...

Awww how sweet.

Orange Juice said...

so sweet... you softy!

Chief said...

Found you from Supah!

Such a sweet post! I think I will nose around a bit!

Kaylen said...

My son has always been the opposite of this - he is mr. smooth, just walks right in. Doesn't necessarily talk to anyone, but doesn't stand out on his own either. He's a few steps beyond a lamppost in social skills...but he's still on the streetcorner in many ways, looking in the window of life. :)

First days are more har on parents than the kids I think!

Giving away two copies of the movie Extract starring Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck. Contest ends 4/2/10.
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