Last week was Hudson’s first week of school. For the most part, he has all new people in his class. There are ten boys (10!!!) and four girls.
Fortunately, I know a few of the moms of the other kids, so there were some familiar faces in his class.
On the first day, Hudson reluctantly went into the classroom and, for the first time ever, held on very tight to my leg when it was time for me to leave. There weren’t any tears, but I could tell he was nervous.
When I picked him up he seemed fine and he was definitely happy to see me. On the way home, I asked him a little about his day. But he never really answered any of my questions. And when I asked him who he played with, he’d just say, “Mommy, stop asking me questions.”
Is this what it’s going to be like to have a son? Do I have to pry all of the information out of him?
The next day went about the same way. He was clingy at drop off, and not really talkative after school. And he didn’t want to talk to Todd about it, either.
Of course, my mind started assuming the worst. I thought, “He hates it. He’s not playing with anyone and he’s sad.”
I can honestly say I’ve never felt anything quite like it before, but as my imagination got the best of me and I assumed the worst, my heart was just tightening in my chest. I was becoming more and more sad for my little boy as I imagined him feeling the things I’ve felt before.
The first day of anything is exciting for some, but it was always scary and intimidating for me. I was never the one to just rush up to a group of people to play. I always hung back and found something I could do alone, and I’d usually just wait for someone to come play with me.
I’m still that way. If I’m in a slightly uncomfortable situation, I’ll just read a book or pull out my phone and read it as a coping mechanism.
The next day at school, I decided to talk to Hudson’s teacher to make sure everything was okay, since I couldn’t really get a word out of him. She assured me that he is having a great time, but, just as I suspected, he’s not the first one to run up to someone. He goes to the toys and starts playing and ends up having plenty of playmates, but isn’t the one to initiate “group play.”
So this made me feel a little bit better. I was able to see pictures on the class website of what they’re doing during the day, and he’s always having a blast.
That day, Hudson got in the car and was extra chatty about who he’d played with and what they’d done that day. He talked about all of his new friends all afternoon.
He just needed a few days to warm up to everyone.
His teacher even told me that Hudson definitely came out of his shell that day. In his class last year, the teachers referred to him as “The Sheriff” because he was always reciting the rules and harping on everyone to clean up and walk in the hallways. Even though he was rarely the rule follower. So when his new teacher told me that he’d come out of his shell, she also told me that “Sheriff Hudson” had made an appearance that day.
I knew that if he was comfortable enough to get bossy, he must really be enjoying himself.
We’ll work on the bossiness at home. I’m just happy that he’s enjoying himself. He no longer seems scared, and I can relax after he gets dropped off, knowing that he’s loving it and he’s making friends.
This whole experience reminded me to begin praying for these current friendships and his future friendships. There is nothing like having hurt feelings. But having a child with hurt feelings is just excruciating. I can’t even imagine how many future situations we’ll sort through with our kids.
I’m thankful that he is adjusting well and enjoying his class. I know I never should have been too worried, but when we are their only advocate and have to speak for them at this age, I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to help him. It’s hard seeing my child become an even more independent kid.
These are the parts of parenting that I wasn’t prepared for.