|The "official" shot|
|This is what I got when I asked for a side view shot of his backpack...|
|All smiles just before stepping on the bus!|
I have a lot of mixed emotions about today, but probably not for the reasons you'd think. I mean, yes, my first baby is all grown up and going to school. But he's been in daycare for so long that I'm used to leaving him in the hands of other people. It's just a natural progression from what he has been doing. But given the behavior issues we've dealt with for the past weeks and months, this step was hard for reasons I didn't expect. Instead of just being able to be nostalgic, I worry about how he'll treat his teachers and his friends. I worry about what will happen when he inevitably has a meltdown or an OCD moment and no one knows him well enough to understand why or know how to handle him. Heck, I'm his mom and I don't always know. I worry that because he doesn't always focus on the things we say, that he'll end up in a tough spot--like he won't pay attention to where he needs to get off the bus or won't remember which thing in his lunchbox is for snack or the right paperwork won't get to his teacher. We have so little control over things now and won't have the constant communication with his teacher like we've had at daycare all these years. He'll be meeting friends that he might have for a lifetime (I have at least one from Kindergarten--hi Heather!), ones that could lead him down a good path or a not-so-good path. He'll be challenged in new ways, and since he's been such a wild card lately, I worry about how that challenge will impact him. My hope for now is that everything will be so new that he won't have time to act out, though I know that may mean some tough evenings for us when all of the energy he's pent up all day comes flying out. Hopefully by the time the newness wears off, we'll have some coping techniques from the therapist and we'll better be able to manage all that he's going through.
I've been so jealous of everyone else sending their kids off to Kindergarten (or other grades, for that matter) as I've seen pictures pop up all week on Facebook. I just long for the carefree excitement that I see on everyone's faces and in their statuses. I know there's bittersweet sadness for how fast their kids are growing up, but that feeling seems like such a luxury compared to the concerns we've had. I've had such a hard time getting excited about any of this given the school supply shopping meltdown and all the resistance we get whenever we try to buckle him down to do something important. I didn't even cry when he got on the bus, probably because I was so relieved he did it without a meltdown.
I will say that he did awesome the other night when we went to finish up our shopping. We needed to get sneakers and a lunch box, and possibly a backpack if he could find one. We started at Target and they had absolutely nothing sneaker-wise. We didn't love any of the lunch bags but settled on a generic insulated one. We headed off to Kohl's and found the perfect pair of sneakers and a cool backpack (almost went for the cheap sports one, but settled on the sturdier, roomier one). And other than a few times where I had to rein him in for wandering off, he was absolutely awesome. We actually had fun! I don't know where those moments come from in the midst of all we've been going through, but it was heavenly and I wish we could get more of those.
We had his meet the teacher visit on Tuesday morning (amidst the rest of our crazy weekend), and he did pretty well there, aside from a couple random comments and having to redirect him to the tasks at hand. We had a checklist to get through that helped us discover things around the room, and he got distracted quite a bit. Still, he was pretty good. I tried in vain to get a decent picture of him with the caterpillar he had to decorate and then put his picture on. This was the best I got...
Anyway, day one is in the books. Of course, I can't get much out of Jacob. He seems to have enjoyed it. He liked taking the bus. He was so busy talking during lunch that he only ate a very small part of his food. We had one hiccup in that he ended up on the bus to daycare instead of going to the afterschool program at the school. We had set up the daycare bus in case we opted for that instead, because it was easier to discontinue it than add it later, but for some reason the transportation info from changes made more recently doesn't update until next Wednesday so he got put on the bus instead. Not a big deal, but annoying nonetheless. He was exhausted and fell asleep on the way home, and that made for a challenging night tonight. Hopefully tomorrow is better.
I'm glad we got through today and I pray that he has a blast tomorrow. I really want him to love it so much that he won't need to act out. Perhaps that's wishful thinking, as it's hard to know what he can and can't help, but I can dream, can't I? I need to dream, in fact, because we've got some other challenges we're managing right now and that's pretty much all we've got. Keep us in your prayers. I will share more soon.