Yeah, I was worried about Jack’s first day of school. I was worried that he’d be nervous. I’d was worried that he wouldn’t listen to his teacher. I was even a little worried that he’d tell his class, “Shut up, you fucking monkeys.”
But I still thought he’d make it through the day.
Originally I didn’t want to send him to kindergarten this year. I was afraid he wouldn’t be able to hack it. I wondered if he shouldn’t be placed in a general education classroom, even with supports.
I tortured myself over whether to send him or keep him in preschool for an extra year. Virtually every single person in a position of authority told me he’d do great. Virtually every single person in a position of authority questioned me for questioning whether to send him. Virtually every single person in a position of authority didn’t understand why I said he needed as many supports as he did. Virtually every single person in a position of authority has been telling me I’m wrong about how much help he needs.
But they convinced me—or I convinced myself—that he would be okay. That he was ready for kindergarten. That he would struggle, but that he wouldn’t fail.
I expected to walk to the bus stop today at 3:15 and pick Jack and Sam up. I expected to not get much information about what their days were like. I expected to hear yes and no answers to my eager questions as they ate the chocolate chip cookies Quinn and I made for them.
I didn’t expect to get a phone call from the principal forty-five minutes before school dismissed.
“Jack’s had ups and downs today,” he said, in the kindest of tones. “He’s taking a little break with me in the office right now, but he’s had some problems. He also tried to run a couple of times. We’re a little worried about putting him on the bus.”
He continued; he told me that everything was fine. He told me that there are always a couple of runners. He told me Jack was okay. He suggested that I come get Jack and that we could talk while I was there. He was beyond nice.
I was beyond upset. I was completely heartbroken.
Jack was fine when I picked him up. The principal suggested that we switch things around and leave him in his general ed class in the morning and put him in the special education learning center in the afternoon. He gave me tissues to wipe my tears.
I know this was only the first day and that all kids have trouble adjusting to kindergarten. I know that it will probably get easier for him. I know that it will probably get easier for me.
I know that even if it turns out that he can’t do it, that we will find somewhere for him to be. We’ll find a program that will work for Jack, be it the one he’s in now or a different one.
I know the principal and the staff at his school are willing to work with us and are nicer than I could have hoped for.
I know it’s a long road and that this is just one step.
But it’s just that this is my Jack. And I’m protective of my Jack. And I’m a little raw today.
Cross your fingers (and toes) for him for tomorrow.
Thank you so much to all of you who extended your kindness to me this afternoon. Thank you to H & S, whom I abandoned at playgroup. Thank you to L, for your kind phone call and email. Thank you to my sister, for your thoughtful virtual flowers. Thank you to Alex, for not listening to me when I said you didn’t have to come home early. Thank you to everyone who tweeted back to me. Thank you in advance to you, my community, for the support I know you will give me. All of you mean a lot.