The principal called today and had a nice long chat with Marc about my exceptionally anti-social five year old. I'm mostly relieved that the school is being so pro-active about making the transition to school as trauma-free as possible, but a tiny part of me is wondering if he's the only kid getting this special treatment...
The plan, as it stands now, is for us to accompany him to school for the first day (which we'd do anyway, of course). They'll immediately buddy him up with his best friend Jordyn, and ask that Marc and/or I stay at the school, not in the classroom, but in the office or lobby area to rescue him if it's really awful for him. The principal plans on dismissing him for the day no later than 11:00 (as opposed to 2:20 with the rest of his class). I'm still dreading it, hard core.
He's my buddy. It wasn't any easier sending Jessica off for her first day. And I don't know if it's worse with Sam or if it's just that Sam is what I'm dealing with NOW so it feels worse. Jessie wasn't traumatized without me. She wasn't horrified at being left alone in school. Sam's flat out devastated that he's not going to be with me all day. Insisting on that - sending him off to school, even though I know it's the right thing to do, even though I intellectually know that he's ready for it, intelligence-wise, socially, insisting that he be without me runs so far against the way that I'm raising him. It just feels flat out wrong.
I can tell myself that it's good for him. That giving him a gentle nudge out of the nest is what's needed right now. That he'll thrive in school. And I'll be chanting the little pep talk to myself on Tuesday, when they peel his sobbing little body off of my legs and drag him, kicking and screaming, into the classroom.
Ugh - I so don't want to do this. The worst part is that I called the school department when I was battling with the idea of sending Jessica off to school, and I KNOW that kindergarten isn't mandatory in Massachusetts. I can skip it entirely and enroll him in first grade without having to do anything with the school system for homeschooling.
BUT - he needs to learn that the world is safe even when I'm not right there. He needs to learn to trust other adults. He's good with other kids - having the other day care kids here from the beginning certainly helped with that. He's always been great with other kids his age, and with four sisters, he's certainly socialized fine. But he's always been with me. It's leaving me. That's what's going to be so hard.
I'm faking it well - I keep beaming about him going to school, raving about how much fun it'll be, how much he'll love it. But I know that my heart is going to break a little bit on Tuesday, and I'm going to miss my buddy like you wouldn't believe.