Look who started school this week!
Last year, for various reasons, Michael's school experiences were a little random. He was in one early intervention program and a different preschool (each 2x/week) for the first 2/3 of the school year. Then graduated into our public school preschool program (where he received speech services) when he turned three. Michael didn't do well with all the back and forth. I don't know how much I wrote about it, but he cried almost every day at drop off for most of the school year. On one hand, it didn't bother me too much. I knew from his after school reports that he didn't cry long and was safe and happy at school. But there is still something difficult about walking away from a child crying, "Moooommmmy staaaaaaaayyyy!" as you go out the door.
Of course by the time he was reliably NOT crying, it was time for summer vacation.
This summer I left him in the daycare room at church during the week I worked at Vacation Bible School. He screamed every day. I did not find this encouraging.
Still, Michael seemed excited about starting school. He said multiple times he was going to be a big boy and not cry. Then, sometime the week before school started, we had this exchange:
Michael: Mom, I do not want you to leave when the teachers walk the kids to the classroom.
Me: When can I leave?
Michael: When the teachers bring us back to the moms.
Me: You want me to wait in the hallway when you are at school all day?
Still, the first day of school came (on Monday) and we had to drop something off in the office before school. Michael happily followed me to the office and back, clinging gleefully to his backpack, telling me, "I like my school!"
When the teachers came he looked a little nervous, but he didn't start crying and he didn't cling. I gave him a quick hug and kiss, a high-five, and then I ran away before he could change his mind beg me to stay.
Each morning I sort of held my breath, waiting to see if it would get more difficult as time went on. But every day this week he bravely held his chin up, stood in line with his friends, and waved good-bye.
He's had a great week, been participating in class, even allowed his teachers to cover his hands in paint. All big feats for our little boy.
I'm really proud of him. I think he's proud of himself, too.