It’s that time of year; the buzz around everyone’s dining room table is about school starting.
In our house we are dealing with a lot of anxiety about that first day. The mere mention of school triggers tears to well up in L's eyes. He’s worried about his teacher ... Will she yell? Will his aide be returning? Will he know anyone in the class? The list goes on and on.
Z doesn’t display the same outward anxiety, and instead quietly bows his head and stops talking -- a sure sign that something is abreast because this child never stops talking.
He’s changing schools this year and I know he’s secretly worried about it. When asked, he acts as if he doesn’t care … It's not a big deal. But that is just the front he puts on to the general public. As the mom, I can tell there is something more brewing under his nonchalantness.
Today I caught him drawing on his hands with markers.
“What are you doing?” I ask from behind as he cowers under the dining room table.
“Nothing!” he replies as he hides the markers and his hands behind his back.
“It looks to me like you are doing something. Let me see.”
He holds out his hand. On two of his fingertips are little smiling faces.
He swallows hard and begins to blink his beautiful, long eyelashes in double time holding back newly formed tears from falling down his cheeks.
“These are my friends, Chester and Pointy. I’m going to draw them every day in case I don’t make any friends at my new school. I’ll have them to keep me company.”
I hug him hard. My goodness, I love this boy!
I take the time and honor this fear for him; . The thing is, Z is the type of kid that will make a new best friend within the first five minutes of being anywhere -- the playground, camp, the pool, the grocery store. He’s an extremely likeable kid. But I understand that he’s leaping into the unknown, and even though he’s been in other situations like this, it’s not about the end result. It’s about taking the leap.
Do you remember what it was like to take the leap, to start a new job or move to a new city not knowing anyone?