I could not be happier about having her here!
I love Christine from Quasi Agitato
or a fantastic writer
She’s kind,wonderful, supportive, caring and I am lucky to call her my friend.
“everythingsounds better in Italian.”
It is true that, as I write this, we are in a dead heat over whether or not to get his hair cut. We have absolutely no plans to move, but still he repeatedly states quite emphatically that he is NEVER leaving this house. He gets upset if he’s expecting his Dad to read to him at bedtime but, for some reason, he gets me instead. No one in this family is in love with change so he comes by it honestly. But I have always found his attachment to people, places, and things particularly potent.
This explains, in part, why I had a lot of anxiety surrounding switching his elementary school.
I had a very strong instinct that a change would be good for him but you just never know. For years, he was fine with school and then, suddenly, he wasn’t. Like, really wasn’t. Despite good performance in class and several strong friendships, he was becoming increasingly angry about school. But, still, I was concerned that the minute I told him we were switching to a new school he would burst into tears and suddenly claim unending allegiance to his old one. I mean, most kids say they hate school, right?
Do they all really mean it?
This new school is a regular public school, like our old school, but they do admissions by lottery. We decided not to mention it to our son until we were sure he had a seat. So, in October of 2009, I attended an open house and filled out an application for him. And waited. And waited. And got a letter saying he didn’t get a seat. And was totally bummed. And put him on the waiting list. And waited. And waited. And when I got the call in late May of 2010 saying we were IN I cried tears of joy and relief. And then immediately felt nauseous because…well…now I would have to tell him.
I had to tell him he’d be leaving a class full of children he’d known since PreK and entering a 3rd grade class in a new building full of strangers. I had to tell him we would have no idea who his new teacher would be until the end of August. And the part I was sure would send him over the edge…he would be taking the bus. This new school was in a completely different neighborhood. At his old school, I could see him and his friends playing during recess from my kitchen window.
That’s a lot of changes.
One night, over dinner, just before the end of the school year I told him the (good?) news. He asked a few questions then paused for a moment. I frantically searched his face for signs of what might be coming.
“So, when do I start? Monday?”
Ha! Surprise number one in a year that was full of surprises.
He transitioned almost seamlessly. Despite a history with stage fright, he signed himself up for the beginning of the year ‘talent show’ AND recruited a few very new friends to join him onstage in a collaboratively developed mime routine. (Which was hilarious!) Feedback from teachers has been great. He has enjoyed learning keyboards and the recorder and has practiced them at home occasionally. Of his own volition. He went camping for 3 days with the entire third grade (Dad chaperoned.) I have even heard him say once of twice that he likes school. There’s a ‘lightness’ about him that had been missing for a while. On the last day of school I asked him to rate his year.
He gave it an eight!
I’m so thrilled for and proud of him that I could just bust. He blew every one of my expectations out of the water. I imagine the way he handled this transition to be a very good indication that he’ll be able to move forward in his life, despite anxiety or adversity or disappointment.
In a few weeks, his little sister will start PreK at this same school. PreK students can’t go on the bus so I’ll be driving her in every day. When I told my son this he said, “Well you can drive her but I’m still taking the bus!”
On the one hand, I guess, there’s that change aversion again! But on the other, I think it’s OK. He’s got his thing going on. And with middle school only 2 short years away, I’m not going to throw a wrench in it. He’s certainly earned the right to a little routine.
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