Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wait, First Grade is over?! Can we be held back?

As I sit here an look through all the photos over this past school year I am literally in tears.  This has been a monumental year for our family.  Obstacles in our way that we now appreciate because of what we know now but then seemed so huge.  We're happy we made it through a little tougher and little wiser but we're also sad that it's over. 

As a parent, you dream of certain milestones that your baby and child will eventually reach and you map out in your head exactly how they will go.  I remember being in Target, 7 months pregnant, looking over a baby book, you know the one's where you document their everything for the first 5 years?  Well, I'm a blubbering mess and a man comes up to me to check and make sure I'm okay and I look at him and say, "A picture of me on my first day of Kindergarten."  He looks at me like I'm crazy and walks away.  I'm 7 months pregnant.  I haven't even met my son yet and am already crying about his first day of Kindergarten.

Fast forward 5 years and we're counting down the days for school to start and I had so much anxiety.  Will he have friends?  Will the kids be nice to him?  Will the other kids teach him bad things?  Will his teacher be nice?  Will he be a star pupil?  and the list goes on and on.  Then, school starts and all the things you thought would be an issue aren't but there are things you weren't even prepared for that will be.  His Kindergarten year was a tough one.  He had a hard time listening, sitting still, following directions and calling out in class.  He also had a teacher that wasn't very empathetic, caring, or patient.  As a parent, we thought we were failing because we couldn't get our kid to behave in the way she wanted.  We tried it all, and nothing was working.  His self esteem was plummeting, he begged daily to be home-schooled and as a parent that had never expected any of this, I didn't know what to do. 


Summer came and went and we had prayed hard as a family for a teacher that would greet our son with a smile, be patient and fun.  We got our teacher assignment in the mail and it was a name we didn't know, but were excited to meet her.  As we walked into Open House, Jay grabs my hand tight and I can feel his anxiousness.  We walk into his classroom and see old friends, and start walking around looking at the different tables with things set up on them.  We wait to meet his new teacher and finally it's our turn.  She smiled and all my anxiety went away the moment she squatted down to Jays level and said to him, "Hi, my name's Miss Seamster and this is my first year teaching and I'm excited but scared so I'm going to need your help.  You'll help me, right?"  Jay looks up at me and smiles and goes on to tell her his name and more that I can't remember at this moment.  I went home and bragged and bragged about how excited I was about this new year and how his teacher was so sweet.

So here we go, into a new year with all new expectations, a little less anxiety than Kindergarten.  Just when we start to catch our breath we came across new challenges.  Jayden was having night terrors, something he's had since he was 2, but now they were happening more frequently.  There is nothing like the feeling of utter hopelessness as a parent when you watch your child have a night terror.  Worst experience ever.  We also found out this year that he has ADHD.  Something we could have found out sooner if we had the right conversations in Kindergarten.  We also dealt with bullying.  An issue I wasn't ready to face so early on in his life.  It's been a year of ups and downs, that's for sure.  But I really can't say enough wonderful things about his teacher.  She had her hands full, I will give her that, but she always remained patient.  And conferences?  I can't tell you how many pow-wows her and I had this year.  But she scheduled everyone without a problem and spent as much time as needed to talk to me.  I don't know how my son, or I for that matter, would have made it through all these obstacles this year, without her.  She may think that she was just a teacher, she came in did her job and hopefully taught the class a thing or two.  But, to us, she was so much more.  She was patient, caring and extremely understanding.


Here we are, at the end of the school year and I can't help but want it not to end.  We've made so much progress and really love his teacher.  Can he be held back?  Can we convince her to teach 2nd grade?  Yes, these thoughts have crossed my mind.  We can now only pray that with all we've learned 2nd grade will be his best year yet.  Now, excuse me as I go bawl my eyes out re-reading this post, re-reading his baby book and looking over photos of the last year. 

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