Only 178 More To Go.

The first two days of school are behind us and I am exhausted already.

I was never a worrier until I met this kid.  Even in the worst of times, I generally took the attitude that things would work out eventually, whatever the problem.  I could work to find a solution, there was almost always something I could do to get a better grip on the thing stressing me out.

When it comes to my son though, I can’t seem to stop worrying.  If somehow I could just see into the future and know that none of this stuff will ruin him eventually, I’d feel better.  I know, I mean I really do know in my head, that a rough first two days of kindergarten will not mean he will be a disaster his whole life.

It’s not like I know anyone who is a mess and everyone says “Oh, him?  Yeah, it all started when he had to go to kindergarten and he cried for the first two mornings.”

Nathan expressed his fear of going to kindergarten more than a year ago.  As soon as he saw the school in our neighborhood and found out he’d eventually go there, he was worried about it.  I was able to put off the discussions for a long time because they weren’t relevant.  He was worried about something so far off there was no point talking about it.

As kindergarten approached, I talked it up, but not too much.  I looked for clues he was interested in the topic and stopped when he was done.  I told him I am always here to talk or answer questions or whatever he needed.  I didn’t push.  I advised others not to push.  He’s sensitive.  Change and anticipation of change are hard for him.  He doesn’t like not knowing what’s coming next.  I get it.  I respect it.

On the first day, we walked to the school and he lost it on the courtyard playground.  He cried and sobbed and snotted all over my shirt.  He entered the school on line with his class just as he was told but he sniffled and gulped air the whole way.

I know I can’t protect him from sadness and hurt and these are necessary lessons for him growing up.  But watching your baby be afraid and sad is just heartbreaking.

When I returned to pick him up, he was all smiles.  Everything was great and he was happy.  He said he was ready to take on the next day.  Until the next day actually arrived and this time he cried before we left the house.  He sobbed and wailed the entire walk.  He stopped briefly to talk to a new friend about Angry Birds but when he was left with his thoughts for more than a minute he was crying again.  As he walked in, he just kept calling my name saying he loved me.

Heartbreaking, I tell you.

I picked him again all smiles.  He said he thinks he could have a better Monday with less tears.

I hope so.  Because I don’t know if I can spend the next 178 school days sitting at my desk at work, worried that he’s sad.

9 Responses to “Only 178 More To Go.”

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  2. Robbie K says:

    My youngest has been struggling with kindergarten too. He has been begging us to home school him. He too is all smiles and chatty at the end of the day. Some kids just have an extremely difficult time with transitions. Here’s hoping ours adapt sooner rather than later!

    • I talked to his teacher and she said he is calming down but says he misses us during the day and he tells her he is trying not to cry. The funny thing is that it’s a shorter day than when he was in preschool! He will come around eventually.

      I think the losing the dog last week is having an impact on his sense of stability.

      I hope your son has an easier time too. It’s so hard on them when things change. Hang in there mama!!

  3. Christie says:

    Oh sweet boy! He’s lucky you are paying attention to him. It sounds heartbreaking alright.

  4. Aw, that IS heartbreaking but try not to worry! I think kindergarten is harder on kids that don’t go to daycare. I worked when my kids were that age so they were kind of used to being away from me in a group of kids. BUT – My kids tears came from when we moved and they had to start all over again. I felt so guilty but they are great now. He’ll be fine, I promise! I know it doesn’t make it easier now but it will all be good in just a little while!

    • He actually started day care PT when he was 18 months and was in 4 full days with only 1 week off before kindergarten. He went from an often 10 hour day (talk about guilt!) at preschool/day care to a 6 hour kindergarten day. I don’t know why he misses me, I feel like we’re constantly together now!!

      He will be OK, this is true. We went through this when he changed classrooms last September and when we changed schools after our move 2 years ago. He doesn’t like when anything changes, so this is no surprise. It’s still so sad though because it’s such a strong reaction in the moment.

      Starting over is hard. I’m glad your kids adjusted. I know Nathan is strong and will manage eventually. I hope eventually is soon!

  5. Kristin says:

    Oh boy – that’s so tough! I have been surprised at how easily my son went to Kindergarten. But today he came home with a story about a boy picking him up and wrestling him to the ground three times during recess…he said it was fun, but I worry. I WORRY. At this point, I think I’m going to email the teacher, just to let her know it’s happening – and hope it’s something that is a one day thing.

    I’m just thankful that he gets on the bus happily in the am despite his nervousness about the seatbelts. I hope today (Monday) was better.

    • Today was better, thanks. Some tears, but not like Friday. I asked if tomorrow we could maybe have no tears and he said definitely not. There will be tears every day he says. OK then. Way to think positive!

      I hope the wrestling thing doesn’t continue. My boy isn’t a rough player and I see boys who are and I wonder if it’s just typical boy play that I’m not accustomed to or if it’s problematic. I hope your son wasn’t hurt. Glad he’s getting on the bus happily though!

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