You probably would never have guessed it, but I love back to school time- mostly because of the school supplies. The smell of paste and paper and fresh crayons. You can probably guess how weird the emotions are with Nico going to Kindergarten. I am excited for him, because I think he is really going to like school. He is really excited about bowling in the gym and blowing stuff up in science lab. And I am excited for getting all the school supplies. And some new clothes.
But, then he’s going to be in kindergarten. Kindergarten. After this, we’ll start counting time by the passing school year… and the next thing you know, he’ll be going to high school. And graduating high school. I remember being a kid and talking myself out of the alacrity that comes with big events by saying to myself, “Stop thinking about it. As soon as you stop thinking about it, it will be here and gone.” I feel like that now; like I am going to close my eyes and open them to find that I am sitting in the car as Dave drives us to Nico’s high school graduation.
I know it’s weird, right? Because it’s not like he is not in school… because he is. He’s been in three really great schools. He’s made good friends and learned alot. It just feels like everything just got real. And it’s weird because I am so nervous for him- because he’s not going to know anyone at this new school. And some kids are just shitty, horrible monsters. God, I remember the feeling of sheer terror on the first day of school, hoping, praying that there was nothing that anyone could use to make fun of me. I could handle the loneliness of not having friends in my classes, as long as I did not have to deal with some Daughtry’s Creek brat declaring my shoes were ugly or my lunchbox was stupid.
Here is the thing: Nico believes what his peers tell him. I don’t know how it came up, but he told me that he had had a conversation with one of his friends about who were the smartest kids in the class. So, I asked if he was the smartest, and he said no, but that he was near the top of his class. I asked if he knew who was the smartest and he said, “Jake”. I asked how he knew that. It was because Jake had declared himself to be the smartest. And Nico believed him. What I am worried about is that some kid will see Nico’s new light up shoes (from Grandma and Grandpa) and say that they are for babies and that Nico is going to believe him.
The thing is, Nico is pretty introverted. Still, at the age of 5, he won’t talk to people he doesn’t know very well. Case in point: the last time I took Nico to the gym a bunch of my gym friends (who are also facebook friends) asked Nico about his burpees (because I posted a video of him doing them). Has nothing to say- won’t even look at them. Compare that to some of the kids in his class now, who don’t even know me from Santa, have no problem walking up to me and telling me what’s up. So I am nervous that some little douchebag is going to declare Nico to be a cry baby or that his clothes are babyish (or something) and that Nico is going to have a hard time making friends. And he’s going to be lonely.
I know, intellectually, that this needs to happen. He will only get good at making friends by being in this place. He may hate going to school. He’s so young compared to so may of his peers. He may not have the patience yet to do the stuff the other kids are doing. He might get really frustrated. Add that to not wanting to go, and its possible that that first week of school is going to be a shit show.
But it seems like everytime I log into Facebook there is something from HuffPost or some parent friend about the “the last time” and how you don’t know it’s the last time until it’s over (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/devon-corneal/parenting-lasts_b_1874086.html
). Like the last time Nico asks me to hold him before he goes to sleep. Or the last time he wakes up in the middle of the night and slips into bed with Dave and me. I know, intellectually, that those lasts are replaced by other firsts, but that doesn’t make me any less of a mess.