a rough start

The first week of school has been rough.
On Owen.
And Shaun.
And me.

There have been lots of tears.
And not the Monday-I-can’t-believe-my-baby-is-growing-up-kind.
But the bad notes home kind.

And I knew my kid was in for a rude awakening when he hit kindergarten.
And that is partly my fault.
I have a pretty high tolerance for crazy.
And he pushes those limits.

And my kid’s school means business.
And is all about rules.
And sitting still.
Following directions.
And listening.
And not being silly.
Which are all pretty tough for a 5 year old boy.
Especially mine.

Who had to sit out at recess on Day2.
And the notes started coming home.
And I thought I was ready.
But not that soon.
And not when that was the first and only thing I was hearing.
I got to hear about how bad my kid was before I ever got a letter telling home telling me how to add money to his lunch account or what to do when he is absent.
Or even that his teacher is looking forward to the year.

Inside me something horrible welled up.
At myself. At my son. And even at his teacher.
I considered moving or sending him to private school
Yes, only on Day2.
Part of me wanted desperately to shoot off an email and defend my kid. But I held my tongue, to her at least.
Tried to be patient.
Tried to teach my kid to listen.
And follow the rules.
And warned him of the consequences if he brought home another bad note.

Which he did. The very next day.
But he was crushed when he got in the car.
Let out a big heavy sigh and told me that he had a long bad day and was tired.
And so now I try to teach my kid to follow the rules,
And at the same time I don’t want to squelch his spirit.
His five your old boy-ness that I love.
The kid that is silly and funny and never stops moving.
And does the robot and the sprinkler and dresses up like a pirate.
Just because.

And more tears. His and mine.
And again, I thought about moving.
About sending Owen to his room for the next 5 years.
Or at least until he can sit still for ten minutes straight.
Or maybe the opposite, like packing a red bull in his lunchbox and seeing what kind of notes I get then.

And finally, today....
A stamp.
A good day.
A smile while getting in the car.
So maybe we will go back next week after all.
And it’s a good thing, because I really didn’t want to move.


Kate said...

Oh, this tugs at my heart. My daughter's first week has been smoother, but I see the squelching of spirit, the rules being forced over what five year olds are. I know they want our babies to learn, but is it developmentally appropriate? I hope we all have a better week two!

This Heavenly Life said...

That business of bringing kids into 'the mold' is what frightens me about school. Not that I'll go any other route, but it does upset me.

I'm sure you're already an expert at this, but just encourage his wonderful energy and I bet it will all come into focus soon. He'll learn how to 'behave' but I think he'll keep his 5-year-old spirit.

At least until he's 6 :)

samskat said...

I'm proud of you for holding your tongue...not sure I could have. (My blood boiled a little on Owen's behalf, and yours, just reading this!!) I hope next week is better...

The Hungry Housewives said...

This made me smile because my 3rd child (16, 12 and 4) will be going to "Pre-Kindergarten" on the 1st. I'm so worried since he's my little wild one- I'm thinking it's going to be a rough month. Thanks for sharing!