In September our youngest, J, started Junior kindergarten at the same school his brother has attended since JK. Although he isn’t 4 yet he was more than ready and very excited. That first day walking him there I felt excited for him too (and for me too) but I also felt nervous. I couldn’t help but worry that he might not be able to sit and pay attention. I flashed back to C’s first day of JK when the Principal called me to inform me that he had an altercation with another little boy and picked up one of the large blocks and hit the child across the head. I KNOW J is not C, just like all younger siblings he deserves to start school with a clean slate. I knew the staff wouldn’t compare him to his brother and I knew in my heart that J’s abilities and strengths socially and emotionally at this age far outweighed his brothers at 4.
I carried my cell phone around all morning. No call came. When people asked me how I handled dropping off my baby at school how could I tell them that I had no problem dropping him off, I was more worried that I would be called to come pick him up?? The second day when I went to pick him up I overheard a few mom’s talking about their concerns for their Jk’ers. One mom was worried because her daughter was so clingy and anxious. The other was worried that her active and strong willed son wouldn’t do what the teacher asked or that God forbid he might have a tantrum and be put on time out.
I wanted to go over and tell them – “oh, you have nothing to worry about. The staff here are wonderful – they’ve seen it all. They taught me older son who hit a child upside the head with a block the first day and spent almost every day of JK and SK in the principal’s office” – but I didn’t.
Instead I stood back and waited until I saw a little boy approaching with his jean jacket and backpack and a smile so big it lit up the hall. Instead a crouched down and smothered my youngest in kisses and leaned in to hear all the stories about his morning. I basked in this light, my youngest ds and stored this moment in my mommy memory bank. And that night I cried a little, grieving that C nor I got to have moments like that those first few years.