Sunday, September 28, 2008

Return to Sender

I'd been tucking little notes into Sean's lunchbox. "I love you," "I hope you're having a good day," that sort of thing.

After I'd done that for about a week without any reaction from the addressee, it came up in a conversation about why Sean wasn't finishing his lunch. I knew the real reason -- my son is an incurable chatterbox -- but I hinted at another explanation.

"I know!" I said. "You can't finish your lunch because you're SO busy reading the notes from me each day, right?"

Uncomfortable silence.

"Did you even NOTICE the notes?"

"Well, yeah. But I haven't been taking them out and reading them."

"Oh. Umm, why?"

"Because [Name Withheld] asked me why my mom was putting a note in my lunch all the time, and I said I didn't know."

"Did it make you feel kind of self-conscious that you had notes in your lunchbox?"

"Well, yeah."

I get it, of course. Who wants to be singled out and teased because his mom sends little messages with her little boy's lunch? I know how the grade school social field is littered with landmines. This one, at least, can be easily sidestepped.

"Okay, I understand. I don't want you to feel uncomfortable in front of your friends. I won't send the notes anymore. But remember that I'm thinking of you throughout the day, okay?"

"Yeah, okay, Mom."

Ah well. I'm sure this won't be the last unceremonious demise of what I'd hoped would be a beloved tradition. At least for now he still holds my hand when we walk to school.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yes, I Know It's Almost the End of September

In my continued neglect of my blog, I am guilty of unfair and unbalanced photo representation for the first day of school, female edition.

Here's my girl 2 weeks ago, about to embark on her first five-days-a-week school year:

She's attending a transitional kindergarten program this year, five afternoons a week. I've come to peace with the fact that she misses our school system's cutoff for kindergarten by a day and thus couldn't start regular kindergarten this year. I suppose it's an institutionally mandated form of redshirting, but regardless I think that she'll really benefit from another year to mature emotionally. Her tantrums have diminished over the past year, but her trigger switch is still alarmingly flimsy.

And unlike last year's difficult social scene, she seems much more at ease, much more open to making friends. I no longer have to worry about peeking through the classroom door and seeing her standing by herself, staring at the floor.

What a difference a year makes!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Yes, Another One in the Recent Spate of First-Day-of-First-Grade Posts


Where did my kindergartner go?

Sean started first grade yesterday. Today is his first full day of school ever. After soothing a distraught Allison, who realized that she'd be spending an entire day without her best friend, I found that this morning was business as usual. Around noon, though, I started getting a bit twitchy. Now I'm watching the clock (30 minutes to go!).

I start the school year with trepidation. Sean's regular teacher is on maternity leave until December. A long-term substitute who is approximately twelve 24 years old will be running the show till then. I'm hoping that the enthusiasm and creativity of a newly minted educator will balance out the inexperience and transition issues ahead....