It’s been a hard first week of school around here. This year has been the first that one of our kids isn’t totally happy about their classroom situation.
It’s not Gal Smiley – she got every last one of her bestest buds in her class, loves her teacher and her classroom, and is over the moon to be back in a heavily social environment.
It’s not Little Miss Sunshine – although she was nervous about starting French Immersion, she’s discovered it’s actually really fun, and she’s in with all her friends from last year. Plus, she gets to go down the hall to the big kid bathroom and that’s the mark of maturity, right there.
So…that leaves one. It’s the Captain. I worry about him. This year has brought so many changes – too many, it seems. It’s his first time in a portable, and he’s really struggling with the different procedures and rules, and the lack of a space to call his own, even if it is only a hook on a wall. He’s in a split class for the first time ever, and he’s intimidated by the older kids. Grade 4 apparently means he has an array of teachers now – his nominal “teacher” is only around for 1/3 of each day, with six (six!) other teachers filling in the rest of the periods. Worst of all, all of his friends are in the other class, so he’s feeling awfully alone and lonely.
It’s been a hard week.
These, I think, are the really hard times as a parent. When they’re babies, you know it’s all on you to solve their problems. As they grow, when they run into trouble, you can offer solutions, ideas, comfort. You’re their guide to every single last aspect of life.
But now that he’s nine, the Captain is reaching an age where he still needs us, and wants our support, but at the same time, would just DIE if his parents tried to interfere with his school life. My God, can you imagine your MOTHER coming into the school to talk to your TEACHER about your lack of friend situation? DIE. SERIOUSLY.
And it’s not like I have any magic answers, anyway. I can’t just Google “diaper rash” and be rewarded with 10 different suggestions on how to fix the situation. Times like this, when your kid is unhappy at a place where he’ll be spending 8 hours a day, for a myriad of reasons, are complex and delicate. There is no easy answer. I have advice, but who knows if it will really work, and half the time (okay, more than half), he feels like he just can’t take my advice, anyway. It’s to hard, nothing is easy, I don’t understand.
Oh, my dear, but I do. All too well.
It’s been a very hard week. I hope things get better.