It seems like only a couple of weeks ago that we said goodbye to preschool and hello to the fabulousness that has been this summer! And, while saying goodbye to preschool was difficult we knew that we had the ENTIRE summer to get used to everything that would be new.
Except that now we’re here! Several area schools are back in session this week. Many more start next week. We are thankful in that we still have almost 3 weeks left before we brave the unknowns of Kindergarten and 10 days after that before we return to the comforts of preschool.
The school supplies are purchased and placed lovingly into crisp new backpacks. The pantry is beginning to fill with the comfort snacks and foods that will fill Eli’s lunch bag everyday. There is talk of the school bus for Eli and time alone with Nana and Papa for Keegan. And with each passing comment and each passing day my anxiety grows just a little.
I am a planner. I
want need things in order well in advance of any event. It’s very hard for me to do anything “by the seat of my pants”. And this year poses a lot of unknowns for my family.
On September 3rd, Eli will walk through the front doors of a brand new school for the first time as a kindergartener. I remember that feeling of being the new kid in a new school and not knowing how things worked or where things went. As a freshman in high school I NEVER ate a lunch in the cafeteria because I spent the whole year intimidated by the process of purchasing a lunch. So I gained a lot of weight and spent a lot of money buying “lunch” at the nearby grocery store everyday. I was 14 years old and that intimidated – I worry so very much for my 5-year-old. I worry that he will be overwhelmed by the lunch room and won’t eat. I worry that he will miss his bus or get on the wrong bus and go into a meltdown because his anxieties take over. I worry that he’ll be labeled the “behavior problem” because he does ridiculous things when he’s overwhelmed and in a new situation. I worry that his teacher won’t see him for the amazing, intelligent little boy that he is. I worry that he will be ignored instead of challenged, that he will become simply another face in the crowd.
I am lucky to not have near the same anxiety for Keegan. My worry for him this year is that preschool will start on time. Our school district began the very large project of renovating or rebuilding every school in the district. The preschool that Keegan attends is one that is being renovated. The start of preschool was put off by a week this year in the hopes that everything would be completed in time for school to begin. We drive by his school 3-4 times a week and I have to say that I’m losing faith in school starting when they say it will. The facade of the new part of the building is mostly complete – there are no new doors or windows yet. I can only hope that they’ve had a crew working as diligently on the inside as those that have been working on the outside. Otherwise I’m convinced that he’ll be starting late and I’ll be left explaining to him why he can’t go back to school yet.
And then there’s me! I am returning to the world of pencils and papers and chairs and tables this fall. It’s only one class but I haven’t been a student since the summer of 2002 – long before children graced my life. I do have anxieties about how to do work, school and motherhood all at the same time and still find a little time in there for me (and my honey too!). I’m more anxious because I’m waiting on someone else to register me for my class and so far it hasn’t happened. Class begins in 10 days! When I stop to think rationally I realize that it’s not a big deal because the class is specific to people in the agency that I work for – and is only open to people that have contacted the HR representative about taking the class. However, rational thinking is not my strong suit when I’m on the verge of FREAKING OUT!
So as summer comes to a close I join my son with his SPD and try to figure out ways to calm both of our anxieties. We look at the positive as much as we can and try to keep the end to our summer fun and adventure at bay. And I look to my friends (my SPD family) for support. Because it is with them that I find that my sanity never really left, it just went back to school a little early!