Monday, August 29, 2011

A New School Year

Luke and Henry started school last week. Luke now attends Henry's school, the school that we are zoned for. Luke had been open enrolling into the school where he started Kindergarten since we moved right before his second grade year. He loved his old school. Last year, Henry didn't get in to Luke's school through open enrollment, and so they attended different schools. That wasn't much fun for me, since I felt like I didn't know what was going on anywhere. In any case, Luke hasn't been happy about this change, but I was really proud of him last week. He had a good attitude, all things considered, and he seems to be giving it a fair chance. This morning--their first Monday morning since they started mid-week last week--was a different story. But I have to remind myself that Monday mornings are never easy, no matter which school Luke is at.

This is the first time that I can remember that I have had to make Luke do something major that he hasn't wanted to do. The first time that he has been grown up enough that I feel like his concerns and worries are 100 percent justified. And I have to say, it is hard. My heart hurt for him every time he told me that he wanted to go to his old school with his friends. Every time that he told me he didn't have anyone to talk to. It was hard to watch him line up at the beginning of the day and awkwardly try to make conversation with the boys in his class. Because the thing is, there isn't much I can do. It is up to Luke to make his way at this new school, up to him to find his place and make new friends. And I can only watch from a distance.

A few nights ago I had a dream where Craig and I decided to take a road trip while Luke was in school. He was our only child. We had to be home by 9 pm to pick him up, but we were still in Georgia at 8 pm and realized that we wouldn't make it. I tried to call a friend to pick him up, but my cell phone died. I didn't have any phone numbers that I needed because they were all in my cell phone. Craig was frantically googling phone numbers and I was trying to remember the numbers of my friends, all while desperately punching them into some antiquated phone that looked like a singing greeting card. It was crumbling in my hands with each wrong number that I tried.

It is this helpless vulnerability that is the hardest part of parenting, I think. The knowledge that you can't always make it all better, that you often can't dial a number and fix the problem. That you can't alway be there to pick your child up.


American Family said...

If L can't open enroll into WH, I will make M switch for 5th and 6th grade too. While switching schools sucks, I console my imaginary future self by thinking how much better middle school will be if she has friends from two of the three elementary schools that feed in.

so yung wilson said...

Reality bites. But that's what parenting is, right? To hopefully give your children enough tools so that they grow into more-or-less successfully independent adults? Although, I had no idea it happened so quickly.

I remember Madeleine L'Engle writing that she moved around a lot as a child. She learned to have "fun" by herself on the playground and soon other children would come to her. Which reminds me of Mother Gavrilia saying that as a child, she discovered that if she would go ahead with plans, friends would follow.

New schools are not fun. I went to a new school in HS; it wasn't easy. I imagine even less easy at Luke's age.

Have you looked up crumbling-singing-greeting-card-mobile-phone on a dream meanings site? And were you visiting us in GA? :-)

Ser said...

We were visiting you, So Yung! And no, I didn't google that commoon symbol in dreams. My guess is that it has something to do with me feeling technologically incompetent. And also, my kids look at those singing greeting cards for like an hour each time we visit Target until I start to feel like a crazy person.

Lindsey said...

Oh Ser, the boys are getting so BIG! We miss you guys.

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