Friday, September 23, 2011

School pains

Dash1 started first grade about 3 weeks ago.  I was stoked.  He was stoked.  But I was really stoked.

I don't get the folks who say they miss their kids while they are in school, sure their cute, but it's not like he's going off to college.  It's first grade.  I have to pick him up at the end of the day.  The school makes me.

Anyways, he really was stoked.  Despite it seeming that he was in a class with only 3 people from last year.  Of course he was paired up with the other peanut allergy kid, and then 2 girls. The other 3 kids from last year were good kids, but not any of his close buddies.  He wasn't phased.

"After all mom, I didn't know anyone in my class last year and look at how many friends I made!"

True dat kiddo.

They called him the mayor of his class. That kid new everyone. Leaving school at the end of the day was almost painful, "Bye James see you tomorrow!"  "Hey Gracie, see you in pe!"  "Bye Jonathan!"

Sweet Jesus, that kid was like a walking rolodex.

Here's what he didn't quite count on, in his class of 19 kids, 11 were from one class.  They knew each other.  They were tight.  He, was on the outside.

And because of all the rain, they were banished inside for recess which meant it was in class, he was stuck with the kids in the class, no safety net of seeing his old friends at recess. 

My kid who was bounding off to school the first day was coming home pissy, nasty, and dreading getting back on the bus.

And I was not in a much better mood.

They do not prepare you for this kinda stuff when you bring a kid into the world.

In fact, they really don't prepare you for much.

I remember when I didn't think I could handle picking out a crib, I mean, its a crib, my sleeping babies will be in this thing, I'll look at it for years to come.  Do I go dark wood? Light wood? Ornate? More simplistic? Does it convert? What to do!

I look back and laugh at what an idiot I was.  And I kinda long for the days when that was my biggest parenting dilemma.  

Now here I was, 6 years into parenting and my oldest babies heart was hurting.

And here's the thing, I've seen their little hearts hurting.  I've held dash1 while he has hurt in pain post surgery, I've held him as his body has struggled to breathe in an asthma attack, I've held him while he's cried for his daddy at night.  But helping your kids face the sting of other kids is a different sort of pain.

I asked him if he had tried making new friends.  This, in case you were wondering, was met with the same "No shit, why didn't I think of that, are you an idiot" look that I give people when they ask why I just don't tell my husband not to go away when the Marine Corps tells him to skedaddle.

"They don't want new friends mom, they are already friends."


So I did what every good mom should do.  I called my mom.

I rambled on and on about what sense was it to keep 11 kids from one class and then just throw in 1 or 2 kids here and there from other classes.  What was the school thinking! And how sad that he has to sit at the peanut free table with just 1 other kid while his class all sits together! Its not fair! What are they thinking! I should storm the school!

Thankfully, I did not.

My mother did what good moms do.  She listened.  And soothed me.  And told me I was being a moron.

Well she said it a bit more delicately.  She pointed out that storming the school might not do much for me.  And that dash1 would settle in.

I knew that. Deep in my heart I did.  I had faith in my little social butterfly, but I still wanted to erase his hurt.  I wanted to ease his mind that he would make it thru this, all the while knowing in my heart of hearts that this would not be the first time he'd feel the sting of kids.

Kids after all, while cute and adorable innocent little beings, can cause a world of hurt on other kids.  I hear middle school is a blast.

Daily we reassured him that he would get into a groove, the other kids would get to know him and vice versa, he'd settle in and make some friends.  And we explained, as hard as it can be, not everyone will like you in this world, that will be there loss, but it will happen.

We don't believe in always sugar coating everything.

Luckily though, this week he seems to have settled in.  He's talking about other kids, coming home from school smiling telling me about the new friends he's making.

My heart has calmed down.

And I am reminded that much like as a new mom I worried I was going to break an arm getting him into a onesie {surely I'm not the only one} these dings in their social armor are bound to occur.  But they'll make it thru.  

And so will mom. 


  1. Oh, my heart would break too! I'm so glad he has settled in and is making new friends. What a hard stage of life.

  2. Thats crazy they split the class like that. Madelines is pretty much half and half. And she knew a few of the other kids from the other class bc of recess. I'm glad he is making friends. Next year we get to start all over again :) in a new school new house new friends


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