My ten-year-old went back to school for the first time today after being out of a classroom for just shy of a year and being homeschooled since September 2020.
Now that the elementary schools are back full time and the K-8 kids are in school five days a week aaaand we are settled into our new house and getting into a routine, it was time.
And today, for the first time in a long time –
LIKE A REALLY LONG TIME –
I put two kids on the bus.
IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME.
Up until about 30 minutes before he was supposed to leave, my little guy was really excited to go back to school.
Then the nerves kicked in, followed pretty much instantly by the crazy thoughts our brains will so easily go to when we are in uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations.
He wasn’t just going back to school for the first time in a year.
He was going to a new school.
He was going to a new school on a new bus.
He was going to a new school on a new bus from a new house.
He had no idea who his teachers were, no idea who was in his class, and no idea how to get from the bus to his classroom.
That’s a lot of unknowns.
There aren’t many adults who would be cool, calm and collected in that situation.
It’s understandable that a ten-year-old was having some pretty serious trepidation.
But Number 5 is a people person.
He likes people. He makes friends very easily. He might not have remembered it as the arrival of the bus at the bus stop drew closer, but he misses interaction with in-person humans.
The thoughts in his head overshadowed the all the stuff he was looking forward to the night before.
I’m not as smart as everyone else.
I’m not going to know anyone.
People are going to make fun of me.
I’m going to get lost…
I almost offered to drive him to school. To walk him to the front door after all the other kids had been dropped off.
To do some of the hard stuff for him.
Then I snapped out of it.
This was an opportunity for my guy to show himself that he could do scary shit by himself.
And I was certain he was going to enjoy school.
AND HE DID.
He loved it!
I’m sure the novelty of being back in school all day will lose a little bit of its appeal once the newness of it wears off.
But what’s important is Number 6 did something really, really, REALLY uncomfortable today, and everything was great.
He had an awesome day, and he came home happy.
This is an experience we will draw from and build upon every time an irrational-thought-inducing situation presents itself.
Because today was a big reminder that my guy has everything he needs to navigate the scary shit life never stops throwing at us all by himself.
And I’m really proud of him.