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Monday, September 1, 2008

Where oh where did the last 6 years go?

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.

xoxoxo

63 comments:

Leslie said...

My son just turned 18 and will be graduating from high school this year.s I didn't have to encourage him for kindergarten or first grade or many other grades.s He was also super excited and couldn't wait to get there.
s
But now, he's scared to death to go to college.s I honestly think that if they gave the option of staying in high school another year or two, he'd jump on it.s So I find myself trying to come up with the 'you can do it' speech at least once a week.s I'm sure he'll be great, but convincing him to look forward to it is a real challenge.
s
So, good luck to you!

Eve said...

I remember those feelings well!! Stopping by from SITS to say HI...
s
http://allaboutmeandabagofchips.typepad.com/

Cat said...

Oh my , growing up is tough on kids and moms. Happy SITS day.s http://juggelingactoflife.blogspot.com/

Laurel said...

Oh I know that scene well!s So hard for Mama too.s Good luck little guy - you'll do great!

Mrs. Jelly Belly said...

Awww, the poor little guy.s Sometimes parenting is so heartbreaking, isn't it? I'm assuming it all worked out and he's enjoying school now?

Beth said...

Happy SITS Day!s Hope your little guy is enjoying school now.s My little guy didn't have any fear of starting kindergarten, but he's full of anxiety about starting middle school in the fall.s
s
s

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

The Princess Nagger went through that, too - she's in Kindergarten this year as well.s She kept saying right up until she boarded the bus that day that she was NOT looking forward to it...she was scared.s Luckily by the time she got home that afternoon she was all happy and excited to go back the next day.s I'm guessing your son is loving school now, too? :)
s
Happy SITS Day! :)

Tracey (Polkadotsandpicketfences.com) said...

Popped over from SITS.s Oh that poor baby!s I still remember my first day of kindergarten!s I was all excited and couldn't wait to meet new freinds!s I know each child is different, I hope his day turned out to be wonderful!
s
Tracey

Preston (Meandtheblueskies.blogspot.com) said...

I know this doesn't help but it's all part of life. The best thing you can do (I think) is to let him find his way through this and be there for him when he needs you.s You sound like a wonderful mother and he's very lucky to have you.s Happy SITS day!

Bethany said...

Hi from SITs. I loved school all the way through, and I hope that your son does also.

Brenda said...

All you can really do is love him, hug him and let him discover for himself that he is cool...it will be fine :)

Janis said...

just be with him and support him...

Lanie said...

Just dropping by from SITS. I have to tell you that I teared up reading this. My little girl (my first also) started kindergarten last fall and my biggest fear is not being able to help her through the hurts that aren't physical. It's tough being a mom sometimes. You are doing a fantastic job!

astrid said...

Oh my.s We went through that this past year.s I think I was more anxious than my daughter was about starting Kindergarten. Fortunately we met our teacher before school started and my daughter had donesa summer school class at her new school so it wasn't all that foreign to her.s She did however take her favorite toy with her on the first day and wouldn't let go of him.s By the end of the day she was happy and giggly.

Guest said...

Stopping by via SITS.s So how did the beginning of school go?s Sometimes these transitions are harder on mom than on kid.s For me, it wasn't until my oldest got her driver's license that I felt that awful teary mom feeling.s You never know when it's going to hit you.

Dawn said...

I so feel this...what happened to being able to ease their fears with just a few words and hugs and kisses...My eldest is now 12 and he just doesn't want to hear it from me...but I say it anyway.s I think there's a part that helps, and I think he truly believes me...so...like it or not, I'm gonna tell him!

kirbey said...

Oh my! I know this post is old, but I hope his first day gitters didn't get the best of him. What a sweetie! I bet he made lots of friends the first day and I'm sure you said and did just the right things to make it easy for him.

WhatACard said...

Oh boy, I hope it went well!s I'm scared myself for when my kids start school!

KC Mom said...

Gosh, it only gets harder.s I watched my oldest drive off to her senior year of high school this year wondering...where did the last 17 years go?

Ryan Ashley Scott said...

Those are truly the saddest tears.s Made me cry just thinking about it - thinking about them trying to hide tears from us.s It's so sweet and pitiful.s Beautiful post.

Jane said...

Sounds like a sweet little guy!

DawnS said...

Poor baby!s It gets easier the second time, a little...

ali said...

I hope he's been having a great year.s I had all those fears for my 7 yr old a couple of years ago when he started Kindergarten.s My other son starts this fall and I have the same fears especially since he's my "momma's boy" but I just have to put on a brave face for him.

Elizabeth said...

Dropping by from SITS!s I don't have kiddos yet, but I am sure that day is coming.s I hope the little guy is thriving in school this year!
s
I really enjoy your writing style!

tiffany said...

It's so hard when you can't erase the fears and hurts of your child.s

Rachel said...

OHHHH!!! Break your heart! Poor little guy! I hope you figure out what is wrong with his hands, how difficult!

Jaden said...

It wrenches my heart just to begin thinking about this day... Tears of sadness are so hard to handle!
s
Hope your little man is having a great year at school with all of his friends! I know he has tons by now... :)

Amy said...

So sweet. My girls are 12 and 9 and STILL have some of those same worries. I don't know if they ever outgrow that.s

Vickie said...

I hope that the year has been okay :) .s I remember when my oldest started kindergarten, I was so scared for her.s I live right next door to the school and at every recess I would watch her.s Some day I would do a silent cry because she wasn't playing with anyone.s I would ask her about it and she would say, "Sometimes mom, I want to play by myself."s I would feel better.
s
Happy SITS day :-D

Sara said...

Our little boys are in the same grade, mine started kindergarten last Sept too. I hope he has been enjoying school as much as my son has been.
s
Mama Craft

April said...

I remember it all too well.s Just wait until hesenters middle school and high school...it's a whole new world!ss

Carina Gardner said...

My baby will be going to kindergarten this fall. I even felt all of that when Siri went to preschool! She's excited for k right now...I hope she doesn't get cold feet! What a horrible thing to go through...it's like a slash in the heart.

Marrdy said...

I cried when my oldest started kindergarten.s But he was a trooper and I was the only mom crying.s I also cried when I signed my youngest up for High School two weeks ago.s Next time you realize it you will be doing the same thing.s Time goes by too fast!

Heather said...

Stopping by from SITS. I hope you all made it through that day okay!s My daughter still has 2 yers before kindergarten, and I'm already sad about it!

Cammie said...

ZMy

Cammie said...

My son goes this year and I am sure I will cry all day.s Happy Sits day!

Bonnie said...

My oldest will start high school this year and my youngest will start kinder. I'm taking it harder that both of them. =-O

Emily said...

I remember when my oldest started kindergarten. It was harder on me than her!

Guest said...

Happy SITS day. Hope both you and your little one made it through his first day of kindergarten ok.

Stacie Haight Connerty said...

Happy SITS day!
s
I tried not to cry when I took my son to Kindergarten last September. It was so hard and he was so excited. Where did my baby go?
s
The Divine Miss Mommy
http://www.thedivinemissmommy.com

jubilee said...

I think my son was too scared to even cry.s And I made his dad take him.s So, I could ignore the fact that he was going at all!

Michelle said...

www.blessed-quiver.blogspot.com
s
Sorry couldnt get signed in!
s
That was gut wrenching. That is ONE very good reason I homeschool.s I just dont' want my little ones to have to even deal with that when they are so little and still need me.s WOW!
s
People call me strong for homeschooling...NOPE, you public school moms are the ones who are strong!!!

Guest said...

Stopping by from SITS. That was heartbreaking! My oldest starts middle school in the fall, and my baby begins Kindergarten....oh my, it makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it!

jennykate said...

Stopping by from SITs.s Starting school is such a hard phase in life...fortunately, it is that...just a phase!s It's hard on everybody.s So emotional!s Great blog!

Sarah said...

Ok, I am balling! I just brought my daughter to kinderarten orientation today. Why do they have to grow up?

So Not Mom-a-licious said...

That was so sweet! It totally left me in tears.s And a little anxious about getting to that point myself!s

Lookwhatmykiddid.blogspot.com said...

What a touching story. ONE good thing about having twins is that they can do this scary thing together.

Gamma Sharon said...

Sounds to me like you are doing a wonderful job.s Came over from SITS to say hi.

Sandy said...

My daughter starts Kindergarten in the fall. She is the one child, of my five, that is not excited about going. I am so scared that she is going to have a meltdown the first day. :(

Mimi said...

I remember getting the book "The Kissing Hand" for my boys.s It's a story about a baby racoon going off to school & his mom kissing his hand every morning.s The book came with heart stickers so that you could put a kiss sticker on something your kid was taking to school.s
s
It was pretty cool.

Guest said...

Sigh.s I keep telling mine I'm putting boulders on their heads so they will stop growing!

Joy said...

Just wanted to say congrats on your SITS feature.s Also, I can relate in a way to the situation as I had a very shy first-child daughter who started kindergarten 12 years ago.s Sounds like your son is not necessarily shy and I hope in the last few months he has transitioned well to his routine. :)

momma said...

my "baby" just turned 6 today.s it was hard for me!!

Christy said...

AW!!!!!!!!! He sounds so precious!

ziggy1962 said...

I went through this 13 years ago with my daughter.s But after the first day,she couldn't wait to go back.

angie said...

I remember being so nervous for my nephew.s All these feelings I have for my nephews, I think I would explode if I was a mom!

Lissa K said...

All my kids are grown up now..we have 5 :)
I remember each & every one's first day of Kindergarten.s I am not sure if it was more traumatic for me or for them :-[ but they did love kindergarten!s The first day was kinda scary...but we made a big deal about the neat, new lunchboxes...and the cool backpack, and how much fun they would have... so, how did your little guy do?
s
BTW...stopping by from SITS!
s
Hugs!
Lissa

Lisa@CrazyAdventuresinParenting said...

Oh yes, I recall that like it was yesterday, and have 3 more to go, too. It isn't easy, is it? *hugs* momma, you did great :)

Life As I Know It said...

How did it end up going?s I'm guessing he had all the worries about what turned out to be a great day!s I'm terrified for the day that I have to send my little guy off to school.s They really do grow up so fast!

The Sweet Jelly Bean said...

Stopping by Sits!

Michelle said...

Oh, it's so sad when they're scared like this.s It's March now, so I'm sure it's so different from when he first started.s Sometimes, you just can't fix things until you go through them... and hopefully kindergarten has been a wonderful experience for him.s Oh -- and I've heard that reading books about going to school (and there are a ton of them out there) helps.s Luckily, both the wee ones SO wanted to go to preschool, so I haven't had this issue.s Yet.

Rachael said...

Oh my goodness.s I am so crying right now.s I have 2 more years to prepare for my moment like this, and I love watching him grow, but sometimes it's just heartbreaking!

Wifey said...

What a heartfelt post. I hope the day went well.s Congrats on your SITS day...
s
Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

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