Friday, 9 September 2011

Deaglan's first day of school

I’m a mess.

I forgot to tell him that I slipped his (sun) hat into the bag with his extra clothes. And also? I’m sick inside that he might eat some of his lunch at recess, not think it through, get to lunch hour and only have grapes and a granola bar left. We should have practiced one more time.

That’s what we did last night. I drilled Deaglan - picture Lou Gossett Jr. In Private Benjamin (with less facial hair), whistle around my neck, stop watch in hand.

“Okay, let’s see you open your lunch box, Go!”

“But Mommy, I already showed you how I can do it.”

“Alright, alright. Tell me what you’re gonna eat when the teacher tells you it’s snack time.”

Rolling his eyes. “The grapes or the strawberries.”

“Good, good. What about if you have an accident? If you have a pee-pee in your pants, where are your extra clothes?”

“Mommy, I’m not going to have an accident though.”

“I know honey but if you did that would be okay, okay?”

At this point Shaune breezes through, cool as a cucumber. “They’re not just gonna throw them to the wolves on the first day you know. There will be people around to help him.”

Oh he’s such an expert on the first day of school? Unfazed?

Well it was a different story this morning. After we left Deaglan with his Before School Group, my husband anxiously asked a dozen questions.

“Don’t you think we should have stayed a little longer?”


“How could they think working them in throughout the week was a good idea? The kids who came earlier already have friends!”


“Do you think he’s okay?”

No I don’t think he’s okay. He's likely scared and lonely and missing his normal. But I know he will be. I read somewhere that we humans are born hardwired to suffer. That when we try to buffer our kids from going through the hard stuff, we’re not doing them any favours.

Yep, I am a mess, disjointed, disconnected, like parts of me are scattered all over this city. Even now, I'm tempted to scurry the two blocks to the school, hide behind a shadowy maple, see that he's okay.

But I won't.

"It's good to do uncomfortable things. It's weight training for life." Anne Lamott

"I don't remember who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don't even know exist until you love a child."  Anne Lamott


  1. Ann Lamott was so right. Of all the times in life we put our emotions on the wire-having children is at the very top-and even now that Amy is 15 (15! OMG!!) my heart will never, ever let go, and I will worry about her-not the same worries as when she was Deaglan's age-but new worries.

    I could really relate to this bit:

    "That when we try to buffer our kids from going through the hard stuff, we’re not doing them any favours."

    I know it's true, but I can't help it. As parents we want to protect, in every sense of the word. But we also don't want to raise helpless children who can't fend for themselves.

    It's a pretty damn hard balance to strike, isn't it?

    Hugs Kim-I know what you are going through, and you know, it WILL be ok:)

  2. That's exactly how I felt when my son started Kindergarten last week. Each possible "bad" scenario ran through my head (will he know what to eat for snack time, instead of lunch time? will he remember where I put the thingy he has to wear on the bus?, and the list went on and on). Thankfully we are well over a week into it, and he's done great! :)

    I love that last quote! SO true!

  3. If you did happen to hide behind the maple tree, you'd likely find at least one other mom.

    But it's all going to be ok!

  4. Big hugs! I'm sure it will all be OK!

  5. Wait until you pick him up and he is all smiles. He's a trooper. :-)

  6. Bless his sweet little heart. I can only imagine who hard this must be for you. He'll do great. Kids are so adaptable.

  7. That handsome boy will do just fine!!!! I was a mess this week too :) Love this post. Love the quotes too. I'll have to remember them. (Text me soon!!!)

  8. When I left my older son for his first day of school, I stood out in the hallway and cried. Of course, he was fine.

  9. I adore the picture of him in front of the school and I can totally empathize with your words, concerns, and the look on your face in that picture.
    How can something so wonderful (to have a healthy happy child who can freely go to school) also be so hard?

  10. I used to fear every new thing that Maya encountered but now that she's 6 I actually worry so much less. I think the hard part is over now...most of the firsts are out of the way. The only thing I fear now is the catty high school population. I hope to God that Maya can deal with that when the time comes.

    At least, with 2 boys, you won't have to deal with that, right? And for you most of the hard firsts are over too.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend Kim, free of stress!

  11. he looks so grown up in that one pic. how time flies

  12. I adore Anne Lamott. Further proof that we're actually related.

    Also, he looks big and ready and he will soak it all in and do wonderfully.

    But, it's so hard for us. Sometimes, I think we're the ones that suffer.

  13. Oh, bless you...Adorable pictures of him outside of the school! You are a fantastic Mom and funny thing is that I was doing the same thing (pre-training/drilling) with Noah last week! We want the best for our boys and we don't want them to stumble or suffer. Which means we stumble and suffer thinking about how we can prevent their hurts. It's exhausting, it's love, it's parenthood. Wishing you peaceful nights of sleep and a healthy sense of your boys' security while you work. xoxo

  14. Oh my goodness, he looks SO excited! I know how hard those first days are!! Love that your husband was anxious the first day too :)

  15. Oh my goodness. He just looks so grown up. Aside from not liking his teacher's voice - does he like it?


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