I’ve been talking a lot about Number 6 and his transition into kindergarten this week, but one of the other kids has had a pretty big transition, too.
This year, Number 3 moved from the elementary school up to the middle school. I know it’s not like he scaled Mount Everest or anything.
But this is kind of a big deal.
Number 3 has had some very significant issues with anxiety. When we went to his kindergarten orientation he wouldn’t even enter the building.
If you have a child who suffers from anxiety, then you understand. You hear the same frustrating questions every time you venture into anything unknown.
What do I do? What if I do the wrong thing? Is this the right place? Is this the right day? Is this the right time? Are you sure? How do you know, Mom? Mom! ARE YOU SURE???
So even though we had already visited the school, located the classrooms, and practiced the route to his homeroom multiple times, for the 48 hours before the first day of school, the questions were on a loop.
What if I get lost? Where do I go? What if I go to the wrong class? Do I need a locker? How do I open my locker? Where do I put my stuff? Are these the right supplies? Are you SURE these are the right supplies? What if my teachers are mean? How much homework am I going to have?
But Number 3 was also going to walk home from school since we live right up the road.
That presented a whole new set of unknowns and new things to stress about.
Where do I go? How do I know when to go? When do I leave? Am I going to be the only kid walking home? Where do I cross the road? Mom, will you come with me?
So while I was worried about Number 6 on his first day of kindergarten, I was really much more worried about Number 3 at the middle school.
But I knew once he got there, he’d be fine. I told him I’d meet him down at school after that first day to make sure he new the walking procedure.
Today Number 3 walked home from school himself. He got himself a snack and packed up his lunch for tomorrow. He came up to the office where I was finishing up some stuff, and said to me, “Mom, walking home is so cool. And I love school. Oh, and I already did all the stuff on my list.”
Hes’ a different kid. He’s more confident. And I think he’s genuinely happy. Never in a million years would I have imagined this a few years ago.
So in this first week of school, Number 3 has made some big discoveries.
But he’s not the only one; I have also learned a couple things:
One, pushing Number 3 out of his comfort zone is really helping him. A lot.
And two, well, sometimes I underestimate Number 3. And I’m really, really proud of him.