I am surprised at how much comfort I put in thinking a schedule will somehow make life easier. On the contrary, upsetting the non-schedule of the summer sent Otto into sensory processing mayhem due to 7 days of insane car commutes and lots of time away from home. Once again he was not responding to his name and talking to himself with exaggerated arm movements and walking aimlessly on the sidewalk while the other boys played on the playground. I have been reassured by his therapists this is only temporary but it still makes a mama’s heart sad. I realized in a way I am sacrificing one child’s temporary well being for the stability, skill and self advocacy we are giving another child in his last year at a specialized Pre-K program.
So we started school. Kai is in Pre-K and Lucia entered kindergarten. Kindergarten is a huge deal right? Many moms seem to talk endlessly about how sad they were to see their baby go and the emotional sadness they faced during this pivotal point in their child’s life.
So what is wrong with me?
I did not cry. I was not sad, nostalgic, wishful for latter days or sent into a frenzied state as I pictured her growing up and getting married.
Instead on the first day of school I was up at 4:30 when she stumbled into our room announcing she had a bad dream. So in bed with us she came. At 5 Kai came in soaked because he peed the bed. I cleaned up the mess and put them both back in their room.
At 5:30 she came back in saying she was sick and could not go to school! Whoa! Lucia is strong, independent, organized and controlling. In her own words she “takes care of her brothers and sometimes bosses them around.” I had not even thought about the fact that she was only 5 and this would be a big deal for her.
I knew she was nervous and excited. We had had several conversations about this. I read Proverbs 20.5 often that reminds me (my paraphrase), “ the thoughts of my daughter’s heart are deep waters and an understanding mama draws them out.” So I was intentionally trying to draw her out. I just never imagined she would be SO nervous she would not eat for 24 hours and dry heave into the toilet at Starbucks during our lunch after the first day was over.
Thankfully Lucia has a thoughtful daddy who had purchased a digital photo keychain a few months back thinking this would be something she would enjoy. And thankfully she has a concerned grandma who passes along every tip she hears, including how pictures of family help kids on their first day of school. So after Lucia announced she was sick Jason was out of bed loading pictures onto the key chain which she kept in her desk and looks at when she is sad or her stomach hurt. This was a lifesaver those first 4 hours of school.
So maybe any chance of my own emotional breakdown was curbed due to my daughter’s. Or maybe I am minimizing the grandeur of this event so I can suppress any real thoughts of doubt or concern; did we make the right choice, is this school the right fit, should i homeschool?
Every day when I pick her up from school the other parents, teachers and even the principal gush over how cute she is. The uniform definitely adds to her cuteness. She has even had a few 8th grade girls randomly give her hugs because she is so cute.
So I am proud. Proud of my daughter who was brave enough to start something new, something without her brothers, something that made her experience anxiety and nervousness in a real and serious way for the first time. Proud that she was able to keep going even in uncertainty because she trusted us and trusted Jesus. Living in a way we are hopeful she will always maintain.
And keep going she did…..her teacher told me last week that when she calls out sick she can probably give Lucia the class for the day. Lucia walks a fine of line of control and helpfulness, i.e. she is her mama’s daughter.
She tells me Kindergarten gets more fun every day. So tonight we get ready for week 3.
I am thankful for a husband who was able to confidently make the decision of where Lucia would go to school this year. And for his wise words that remind me we take this all one day at a time. No decision is permanent and so once again we get ready for another day that may or may not require therapy in the future. But we are sure that our God is bigger than our daily worries, our emotionally charged kids or my “Martha” attitude that simply wants to get my kids to school with a joyful heart with or without my own tears unveiled.