Last week we talked a bit about all things back to school. Today I am linking up some of my absolute favorite blog ladies to talk about my goal for the new school year. Make sure you also check out Allie, Holly, Lisa, Trina & Sara.
Last week I was reading my friend Erin‘s blog and she really hit me when she talked about giving yourself grace during the school year. Now, I will preface this by saying that the transition for our family into school was a rough one, and we knew it would be.
When we decided to send Hank to preschool we did it not for the benefit of academics, but actually the opposite. We told the teachers we didn’t care if he learned a thing, we just wanted him to develop some social skills that we weren’t able to provide for him. All of his life Hank has been watched by either my or Kevin’s parents while we work. And while Hank was great at interacting with his cousins, he really struggled with social interactions with anyone outside of family. We toured our district parochial school and they were kind but they were very focused on academics. Each child in the 3 year old class would work from an iPad, they told me. There was social studies, math and religion everyday. Great school, but I of course I think my child is a genius already (what mother doesn’t?!) and I needed a school that was more nurturing. Ultimately we chose to send Hank to a parochial school that is a bit further away but a much better fit.
All of this is to say that…prior to having kids, I always thought I would put my kids in “the best” school that would give them the most opportunities. We moved into the “best” school district in the area so that our kids would be afforded any opportunity they needed. But what they ACTUALLY needed, wasn’t what I had planned…and that’s ok.
School is tough. It can be a challenge for both parent and child and it’s important to remember that it might not be perfect. You will find your way together. Last week I shared the story of when I took off of work on Hank’s first day of Pre-K so that I could drop him off, pick him up, and take him out to a celebratory lunch. I had envisioned this fun lunch where he would tell me all about his first day and the names some of the kids in his class. Well…minutes into eating he threw up his chicken fingers and strawberry milkshake everywhere. His nerves were frazzled from the stress of his first day and the food didn’t stand a chance. It was not a perfect first day, or first week, or first month, or first year. But he grew tremendously. It shocks me to look back on how far we have come since that day.
My goal this year is to let go of it being right, perfect and even “easy”.
My son hates class parties. Hates them. He does not like loud noises at all and parties are a cacophony of loud voices and music. Being dressed in costumes, or PJs or whatever the theme is makes him feel uneasy and pressured. It is usually crowded with every kid and their parent crammed together. He can’t eat, and if you were to put your hand on his chest you would feel his heart beating a 1000 beats per minute. When the school year started and we were both getting used to the experience I would look around at his classmates who were obliviously chomping down on their brownies, slurping their juice boxes and giggling with each other. I’d whisper to him “You’re fine honey, just relax.” But he’s not and that’s alright. We are accepting grace into our lives and knowing that the school year might not be exactly what we want it to be at all times, but we are going to make it through because we are not going to let that stop us from succeeding. We will work through the tough parts and appreciate the good times. I know that I will always be there for my children to advocate for a successful environment for them even if it’s not a picture perfect one.