Monday, August 12, 2013

Alex's First Day of 6th Grade

Last night, things started off beautifully. Routine perfection. We had a bit of a hiccup at bath time when I reminded him (again) that he's going to school in the morning. "Goodbye? Goodbye, goodbye?" "YES! You're going to school in the morning!" "No want to. No want to." Aw, baby, you're breaking your mama's heart.

He went to bed at 8pm with no TV with no trouble. Goofy and the girl went down at the same time with no TV. It took 14 minutes for the screaming and insults to stop, 16 for him to decide he wanted the blanket he threw, 17 to go after the pillow, 25 for him to fall asleep. At 30 minutes, I was wishing I'd brought some coffee with me, 45 I was mentally reciting the book Go the F**k to Sleep, at 60 minutes I decide enough is enough and went to smoke. she was asleep before I got back.

By 10 pm, I'm nestled all snug in my bed, where the silence gives my brain the quiet it needs to drive me crazy about the fact that I am abandoning my baby tomorrow, leaving him to fend for himself.

I won't be there to tell them that when he puts your hand on his head, he wants you to scratch the back but you won't do it right and he'll do it himself but he'll keep asking just in case you get it right. or that when he sucks his thumb, he's getting sleepy. or that when he taps the table, it involves food or drink- he wants some, he wants more. or that when he spins in circles, he's dancing and would like some music.

It's like taking him to the pool and tossing him in- sink or swim.

I woke up frequently throughout the night, making mental notes but since I didn't write them down, I don't know what they were. I'm still left with questions and concerns. Did I give them enough information? Did I give them too many random bits so they won't remember any of it?

His aide is with him. The one from last year. I have to take comfort in that. She may not know him as well as I do but she knows him and he knows her. He's not left to navigate the stormy seas of the unfamiliar alone, he at least has a life jacket.

This morning the anxiety hit hard once he was dressed and eating breakfast with his friends at Nick Jr while we waited on the clock. When the time came, we loaded up and headed for the school, losing fingernails all along the way.

We pull into our spot and unload as I listen to a man explain to a boy what this area is and how to get a break when he needs it, and the start of a 5 minute countdown to leave the area.

We walk along the fence and around the front of the building to see buses unloading and staff members waiting to claim their kids.  His principal is the first to step out and say hi, offering to help me carry things. He introduces Alex to the new Assistant Principal, and talks to Alex with/about his gym teacher. We head for the front door, a few steps behind the principal when a lady steps out to claim Alex as hers. We trade off there in the middle of the busy sidewalk, and I take a few seconds to watch my boy happily walk off with his aide, like a big boy without a worry in the world, before I turn to head home.

and then one of us cried because someone has to keep the first day traditions, right?


  1. First days are always so hard, even when we have the same teacher as last year. It's hard not to get a little choked up!

  2. Hope you get a nap today at some point! James was up at 5:15 so excited about the 4th grade, hope that excitement lasts. We will find out tonight at supper when we talk about the day.

    1. Thanks, Sarah! I did get some quiet time while the girl slept, that was nice :)

      I hope James has a good year this year!

  3. My son, Marco, starts 6th grade at a new school next Wednesday. Thanks for the preview and hope Alex's day went well.

    1. Alex's day was wonderful. I wish Marco all the luck in the world and hope the new school is just what he needs.