(First, as an update – both Jess and Sam seem to be doing really well, and thus far, Julie has managed to escape concussion free. Both kids came home yesterday with headaches, but made it all day today, and both have playdates at home this afternoon)
My son Sam has some anxiety issues. Mainly around separation, but he also gets really nervous about new things in general. He seems incredibly shy at times, but I don’t think he actually is. I think he’s just really a kid who thrives in his own comfort zone and moving out of it is incredibly, incredibly hard for him.
School, as you can imagine, has been hard for him. I hadn’t forced preschool on him, so kindergarten was the first time he’d been away from home every day, and it was incredibly challenging for him. He was on the younger side anyway – in retrospect, I probably should have done preschool when he was five and started K once he was six. But instead he’s on his second year of kindergarten and mostly doing really well. Academically, he’s great, although still very apprehensive and anxious about anything new, and we’re already working on plans to adjust him to first grade.
It seems like I’m constantly dealing with teachers and school adjustment counselors and administration, trying to figure out the best way to get him comfortable and secure while he’s there. I don’t mean to exaggerate the problem, because most of the time, he’s fine. But when he’s not, holy moly… suffice it say that teachers don’t get paid nearly enough, and my son is extremely lucky to have such caring and devoted teachers and administrators at his school.
So today, I went to pick him up at school. I like doing pick up, not just because it’s nice to see the other parents, but also because I get to check in with his teacher and hear things that I might not get to hear otherwise. She told him that she bumped up his reading group, and he’s still in the highest group, but very anxious about the new challenges. And one other thing – she’s cautioned me that it’s not just Sam, it’s more a class-wide issue, but Sam and two of his little buddies have been kind of wild and rambunctious and it’s starting to be disruptive.
I was so happy. Not happy that my boy is a behavioral issue – but for a kid who’s had SUCH a hard time feeling comfortable, for a boy who’s had to be dragged into school on more than one occasion – for him to feel secure enough to actually have so much fun with his friends – HIS FRIENDS – that they’re starting to bug everyone is such a huge relief. To me, that makes everything seem like it’s going to be okay. He might be anxious, he might be unsure of himself, and it’s not that any of that goes away – but he’s also comfortable enough to be himself. To be wild and rambunctious and crazy, like every other little six year old boy, like the happy six year old boy that I see at home. It made my whole day.