I can’t believe that it’s been a week since DJ started school. Granted, we did have Monday off for Labor Day, but we’re already finding our groove, and the long summer days are starting to feel a little distant.
The first day got off to a smooth start until we got to the bus stop. It’s a busy intersection even at the best of times, but during rush hour, it is pretty much insanity on a stick. In addition to the traffic, the bus was very late (which I’ve heard isn’t that unusual for the first week). But needless to say, it felt like forever to my poor nine-year-old who was waiting to start yet another new school.
When the bus finally arrived, I couldn’t believe how tiny DJ looked crossing the street to his bus. It took all of my self-control to keep from running after him and giving him a hug.
While it was definitely nice to be back on my own schedule again, all day I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had left something really important behind. I kept doing things like looking in my rear-view mirror expecting to see him sitting in the back seat.
I also couldn’t help but wonder how he was doing. Did he like his teachers? Were the other kids being nice to him? Did I pack enough food in his lunch? I wished more than anything that he could’ve had a least one friend going into his first day of school.
By the time 4:00 rolled along, I couldn’t wait to see him and left extra early for the bus stop. Unfortunately for me, the bus was even later in the afternoon than the morning and didn’t show up until 4:50. At least I learned a lesson about remembering my iPod and wearing sunscreen to the bus stop.
Once DJ crossed the street–again resisting the urge to hug–I tried to ask nonchalantly how his day went. Based on his normal attitude towards something new, I was prepared for “boring” or even “I hated it.” But I was thrilled when he responded that it was okay! Math was still his favorite class, and he didn’t like Communications (or what they used to call “Language Arts” back in the day). On the short walk home, I asked if he made any friends, and he told me that he talked to two kids but they didn’t talk back. Pushing down an immediate dislike of these two unknown children, I simply told him that he’ll just need to try to talk to some other kids tomorrow.
A little over a week later, and DJ has made wonderful progress. He now has a friend that he plays basketball with at recess and seems to be happy at his new school. He fluctuates almost daily on his favorite class, and I have to admit that I especially love the days when he chooses Communication over Science. And last but not least, in spite of vehement “no’s” to virtually every formal activity over the summer, he also agreed to join a recreational soccer league (emphasis on fun & learning, not competition). His first game is tomorrow. Go Red!