So, yesterday my big kids headed back to school. And it could not have gone any better.
I still can’t quite believe it. We worked hard to make it as smooth a transition as possible and prepared them for the first day as best we could but I was still expecting a struggle. An outburst. A problem of some kind.
Instead, my son woke me up at 6.15 am, already dressed, informing me that he was going to make his own breakfast so he could be ready for school. I believe the words “I’m excited to be going back” may have also passed his lips during the course of the morning.
He happily ticked off every item on his routine chart – he even brushed his teeth and applied his own sunscreen without complaint. If you knew Gilbert personally, you’d understand how big of a deal that was!
I thought I had been transported to The Twilight Zone and expected to wake up at any moment to the reality of previous back to school mornings. Believe me, they have never been this good. At times, they have been downright horrible.
Matilda did get a little upset as she was anxious about who her teacher was going to be and whether any of her friends would be in her class. It turned out she was also worried about having to stand up in the hall, in front of the school, to join her new class.
But a hug and a pep talk got her through it and she was more than happy to continue to tick off tasks from her routine chart as she got ready for the day.
While I was so very thankful for how well everything was going at home I did have a nagging feeling that things would go pear-shaped when we arrived at school. Surely the back-to-school gods could not be so kind to me…
But the gods were indeed being kind this year.
Matilda found one of her friends straight away and happily went off without a second glance. I discovered the identity of her new teacher and was able to have a quick chat with her about Matilda and her needs as well. Fingers crossed she will have a good year.
Gilbert was escorted to his new classroom to see his teacher and meet the class aide. This was the best thing that could have happened to him. His anxiety was soothed and he came out of the classroom actually willing to sit with his class for lines.
As lines consists of the entire school congregating under the loud COLA (covered outdoor learning area) this is an activity which has sent him into meltdowns in the past. So much so that he was exempted from having to line up last year due to sensory overload.
So you could not have found a prouder mother when I saw him sitting with his teacher in lines, putting up his hand to respond to questions and trying his best to sit still and remain quiet.
You also could not have found a prouder mother when I saw Matilda walk off confidently with her classmates, without any look of fear or anguish, unlike in previous years.
And I felt so proud I could burst when I picked them up in the afternoon to find they had both had a great first day back. Gilbert’s first words to me were “I didn’t swear all day Mum, aren’t you proud of me?” while Matilda excitedly told me which of her friends were in her new class.
The bubble will no doubt burst at some point, I am enough of a realist to know that. But I am so thankful for this one perfect day. I am grateful that my kids truly enjoyed their first day back. And I’m so proud of how far they have come and how much progress they have made.