Adoption= Anxiety (Part 2)
First day of school (went shockingly well until…):
1. Kids moved cheerily out of bed (more or less) and got ready with minimal prompting.
2. We left ON TIME. Early, actually.
3. Arrived at school, waited with a couple of their friends and had actual conversations.
4. In the van, I’d prompted them to answer “good morning” each time they heard it. They did!
5. We saw his resource teacher; he gave her a hug. A HUG!
–Here, I started thinking that perhaps the light at the end of the tunnel is NOT a train, after all. —
6. As we walked into the school, I suggested to our boy that he try saying “good morning” to someone first. He did. His choices: the assistant principal and his former teacher. Both shook his hand. Unbelievably, he smiled.
–Here, happy tears threatened to breach my lash line.–
6. The girl left us with hugs. No problem dropping her off in the classroom.
7. Began dropping the boy off. He remembered his lunch box was still in the car. I said I’d get it. He went to his desk and began morning work.
–Here, I began to believe that we’d have nothing to worry about.–
8. AND THEN.
Before I could leave the corridor, everyone heard blood-curdling screams. I ran back to the classroom, praying it wasn’t our boy. It wasn’t. Another child in his class was frantically mashing his hands over his mouth, running to the trash can. His mother hovered. The kid didn’t upchuck, but he continued to scream, a truly ghastly cry. The teacher was standing by our son. His eyes were terror-filled and huge. I asked, “Okay if I take him with me to get the lunch bag?” She answered, “Yes, definitely, go!” I grabbed our boy’s hand and we trotted out of the room.
9. On the way to the car, I reminded him to say good morning. Face turned down, eyes on the sidewalk, he didn’t respond. I suggested he say hello to one of the teachers we passed. Head shake: no.
10. Coming back from the car, we saw his resource teacher standing about 15 feet away. “Say hi,” I prompted. “Already did,” he growled.
–At this point, I’m once again anxious and concerned, but trying hard not to let it show.–
He is completely different from the happy fella who walked with me the first time. “At least you’re not the one freaking out, right? Maybe you can help him feel more comfortable, since he knows you.” Silence.
We walk to his room. The other child is gone for the moment. He deposits the lunchbox in his cubby and moves to the desk. I’m on the way, and he squeezes me tight as he walks by. Then, to his desk, without looking back.
I sure hope he had a better day than I did. We’ll find out in 15 minutes…