So, we're coming up on the end of two weeks in school.
Beastie, after a rough first day, is doing well in his new class. His rather strict teacher (who also had The Boy for two years and very much loved my little rule follower) tried to redirect him on the first day and Beastie laughed at her. He was in time out when I came to pick him up. He took the scolding with furrowed brows as she explained what had happened. In the car, he was all indignation: "I wasn't laughing at HER. I was laughing at my friend. He was making faces BEHIND her." We solved the issue by reminding him that she is the boss and he needs to listen the first time -- not laugh at his friends. We reinforce this every morning by asking him to turn on his listening ears. It's silly, but silly works for Beastie. (We also gently stressed to the teacher that Beastie is very different from his brother.)
The Boy loves kindergarten. He loves gym, likes music, really appreciates that his teacher has plenty of art supplies in the classroom. The aftercare program is fun because he gets to play on the big playground. He's learning to read and, though I can't stand them, he loves the ridiculously repetitive (and to my mind, joyless) books he brings home every night. I will say this for them: They're so simple he can "read" them easily and that builds his confidence enough to work on reading more difficult (and fun) books from our shelves.
And that little rant is really the only struggle going on. It's mine. It's me learning to let go of my Boy. Every night, I ask how his day was -- and then I want to know how was lunch and what did he learn and how did they learn it and who did he sit by and who are his friends and does he like his teacher and what is his gym teacher's name and .... School takes a lot from him. He's sweaty headed and dark-eyed and tired when I pick him up from aftercare, and by about the third day of school, The Boy just didn't have it in him to deal with my questions. I shut down his attitude about them -- but I also have tried to check myself.
It's just hard. From the time he was conceived I've known everything about him: the way his toes dug into my ribs, how he needed to be wrapped up to sleep as a colicky baby, the food he ate, the friends he played with, where he got the scar on his eye. Yes, he's been in daycare, but, for cripe's sake, I used to get reports on the number of wet diapers and bowel movements that happened while I was at work. Plus, I had to walk him into school, tuck his lunch into his cubby, chat with his teachers everyday. Now, we drop him off in a car line and pick him up from aftercare workers. Other than orientation, I haven't stepped foot inside his classroom.
What I'm learning, though, is that if I just back off a bit, he does talk. The Boy wants me to know what's worrying him, what's making him happy, what struck him funny, what he's not quite sure of. He's chatty if I just listen. I know a lot. I know most things. I know the important things. I just might not know everything.
I know he's learning and happy. And I know that the teachers and other people who he'll meet in the years to come have the potential to bring so much good into his life. Some of the biggest influences in my life have been teachers. I'm happy to let The Boy find those people in his own life. I'm not sad, exactly, to not know every detail of The Boy's life any more. I'm just ... adjusting.
And trying to keep my listening ears on and ready.