The clock is ticking.
Heartbreakingly slow it seems.
Over the weekend the mailbox was littered with mail bearing the name and address of our school.
Our amazing intervention specialist sent a social story to ease Eli’s anxiety. A picture of his new teacher, his new classroom, his new intervention specialist.
The class list indicates that there are many new children in Eli’s class – children we have yet to encounter in our time at this school.
Still there will be some familiar faces.
Reality hit for Eli this weekend.
The pile of letters, the supply lists, the social story. Above all the class list and the bus schedule.
All of it weighing heavy on his shoulders.
It broke him.
He curled in a ball in his room.
But, unlike so many years before, he shared his anguish with us.
I want to talk to you he declared as he swiftly made his way to his room, his safe space.
We joined him and gave him our undivided attention.
I’m worried about 2nd grade and how many different kids are in my class and a new teacher and I just don’t know what 2nd grade will be like.
I wanted to cry. Tear of joy, tears of pain.
He shared. He understood, and he shared.
We talked it out and shared our worries and our excitement. We promised that he could keep sharing and we would keep listening.
Later, after some zone out time to Phineas and Ferb, he shared again.
I just realized that I shouldn’t be worried. I was worried about 1st grade and it wasn’t bad at all. I shouldn’t be worried about 2nd grade either.
No, sweetie you shouldn’t. You loved first grade and you loved your teacher. 2nd grade will be no different.
Right mommy. Now let’s stop talking about it because I’m starting to get worried again.
The fear, the anxiety is on top of us now.
We will struggle to come out on top of the next two days.
On Thursday we will send him off to his first day of 2nd grade. He will look at us with that face as he boards the bus. The face that says this just might kill him.
But it won’t.
He’ll survive like he has all of the other first days. He will smile at the end of the day.
If only Thursday were tomorrow…