May 21, 2015

The End of Preschool

He's going to be five.  I went to his preschool graduation today where he won an award for being among the top ten kids who've had the most books read to them over the last month.  Jack likes the same books over and over.

He likes:
I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato
In the Night Kitchen
Ahoy Pirate Pete
We're Going on a Bear Hunt
Go Dog Go
Any Curious George
Any Sponge Bob
Roli Poli Oli
No David

I know most of these by heart, so does he.

It was an emotional graduation as it was a very tough year.  Jack will freely tell you he doesn't like school.  When I drop him off the teacher has to peel him off my hip or my leg and tell him he has to stay and he buries his face in his hands and sobs while I try to get out of the room as fast as possible.  It really puts anything I do while he's at school under a big wet cloud.  When I pick him up, he's happy, playing and smiling and runs up ready to go.  I ask him if school was fun and he says yes.  Sometimes I ask why he doesn't like school and he says he just misses me and being home.  I ask him if he played with any one and he always says "I just played by myself."  I know other kids like him and are happy to see him, as I drop him off and pick him up every day and I see their reactions.  The kids even recognize me now as "Jack's mom" - so he is not ignored or disliked, he just doesn't feel he has any pals at school and he doesn't look forward to it. Repeat this day 180 times.  So to see him today, march up and get a medal and wear his square hat and sit with his class was a joy and a relief.

I was relieved that soon I won't have to watch him bury his face in his hands anymore. I was relieved that they won't have to peel him off my leg anymore.  I was proud we made it - he and me. I have a box of Valentines he makes for me at school.  They each have a heart and say "Mom" & "Jack" on them, sometimes "Ella" is in there too. On particularly hard days, he'd make two for me at school.    This awful school year where we read together and worked on a little homework together and were separated fr a few hours each day and we lived.  We made it. He's taller.  He can write my name and his. He can speak better.  He can do his own seat-belt.  He knows the days of the week. He has life experiences that don't have me in them now.

I hope Kindergarten is better. I keep wondering what the drop off routine will be.  Will I have to walk him all the way to class? Will he like it? Will it be worse? Will he find a friend he likes? I have a good deal of anxiety about it.  I know there's nothing that I can do until next fall when we see how it will go. For now we just count down the last ten days of what I thought was the easiest part of a school career, but for Jack (and me) may have been the hardest.

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