How do you give your child the strength he needs to start something new? It's the night before he starts kindergarten and I feel inadequate somehow. My words seem to fall short, like no matter what I say, it won't ever be enough.
He's been pretty indifferent for the past year about starting school. Finally this summer he seemed to be getting a little excited to start, eager even, for the past couple of weeks. Then tonight, the night before he starts school, he is getting cold feet. He sat here and started crying. Only these weren't the "I'm hurt" tears that he cries when he falls and skins a knee, or the wails he cried yesterday when he was running scross the street to Grammys house and tripped on his sandals and scraped both his palms, an elbow AND A knee. No, these were heart breaking tears, the big, silent, crocodile tears that he tried to hide from me behind his little fists. That he seemed a little ashamed of actually. Tears that no mother ever wants to see, because they didn't come from a bump or a bruise that you could fix with a bandaid and a kiss. No, these were the tears that come from deep down inside his little soul, sad ones that you have to try to soothe away with words and hugs and feelings.
He's afraid of bullies. He's afraid that no one will like him. He's afraid he'll go to the bathroom and not be able to buckle his pants up again. (He might have juvenile arthritis, we're still trying to figure that one out since he's having problems using his hands or anything that he needs to do that requires squeezing his fingers together.) But mostly, he's afraid of not making any new friends at school. This coming from a kid who had every child, young and old, in a 2 block radius, vying for his attention and friendship 2 days after we moved into this neighborhood. This from a kid who has no less then 4 friends at once playing with him every day this summer. I tried telling him we're all scared to start something new. We're all a little scared and nervous and that it's OK to feel that way. That he will be fine, he'll have a ton of fun, and he'll make a bunch of new friends at school this year. That he is a cool kid and won't have any problems making new friends or getting along with anyone else. I mean, what could be better then hearing your MOM tell you how cool you are right? lol I'm banking on the fact that he's only 6 so maybe he still believes me and doesn't yet think I'm a big ole geek who is embarassing him. Of course, that day will be coming soon enough I'm sure...
Somehow my words don't seem to be enough. My hugs and kisses and words of encouragement were offered up to him and I know he wanted to believe me but who knows if he really did. He did stop crying, wiping away his sad little tears with the backs of his hands, finally laughing when I told him he couldn't cry tomorrow because I'll be crying enough for the both of us. That's when the embarassment finally kicked in for him (Oh gawd, mom is gonna be crying AND taking pictures tomorrow? How LAME!)
I've never had to be here before. He's our first and I've never been at this spot, not knowing how to get rid of all his fears, knowing I can't be there tomorrow, sitting behind him in class. It's gonna be rougher on me then on him I'm sure... Anyone remember their words of encouragement to their children? Any suggestions for me? Please comment and let me know. There must be some magic words I can give him!
Well, I better go... J and B are both sleeping and it's time for me to join them.