New School

Hi there Mamas! I hope you are mostly past the difficult new-school transitional stage…! Though it generally lasts about a month, some children seem to acclimate faster than others, and I hope yours was one of the latter! It’s tough enough for moms to get back into the swing of things – with carpools and lunches and schedules, never mind if the kids are having a difficult time adjusting! Tough stuff.

Freida started at The Chabad Garden School on Tuesday, and we’ve been having long tearful mornings, but wonderfully cheerful afternoons! To me, the way she comes home is really the tell-all; if she comes home cranky, naughty, and out-of-whack I know something is not working for her. But! When she comes home happy, well-behaved, and generally settled – I know she is well taken care of.

As you can see from these pictures, she was rather excited on the first day of school. :)

After that, things got a little more tricky. She realized that once I leave her on the playground with her teachers and friends in the morning she won’t be seeing me again until 6 hours later… So, she whines a bit at night before going to bed, and she cries a little in the morning while we’re getting dressed, and again a little more while we drive to school, but thankfully she is so verbally and emotionally expressive that I’m able to gage her “happy status” quite well.

For example, when she cries “Mommy I don’t want to go to school”, it’s never followed with “I don’t like school”, but rather “It’s so hard for me!”. (I love that :) When I ask her what’s so hard about it, it’s not about anything specific going on in the classroom, but rather a clear expression of how hard it is for her to be without her mommy for so long.

Also, this was a huge sign for me: In general when I drop her off somewhere she doesn’t want to go she grabs onto me while crying and needs to be physically peeled off of me. When I drop her off at the Garden School she starts to cry, but she sits down on the floor to cry instead of grabbing onto me – which shows me she really wants to stay. :)

In any case, I simply can’t get over quite how big she is! I fully remember my first day of all-day school – in graphic detail! – and I can’t believe my little baby is already at that stage in life!

Unfortunately, I’m weirdly marred from the concept of “school”; I think I had some of the worst school experiences, and they left me despising “systems” in general. I hated school each and every day – up until the 6th grade. Middle school brought with it a new set of rules (and a wonderful teacher!), and I think I was finally man enough to stand up for what I wanted without being scared of being shut-down. Anyways, it was very difficult for me to send Freida to school because of my feelings towards it… Truthfully, I’m so tainted by it that I secretly and desperately wish I could homeschool her through middle school, but I want to be bigger than my fears and do what’s best for her – and right now she badly needs to develop her social skills more than anything else. And I suppose I can admit that though school crushed a young bright spirit inside of me, I really developed myself as a extrovert and I never would be the way I am if not for being in school working (and clashing) with people – contemporaries and authorities – each and every day. That builds character; not stay-at-home science lessons.

So I sent her on her way, off into the abyss of school systems (though one that I meticulously and happily chose for her!), and I’m happy and proud of myself for doing the right thing and helping her grow in the best way she can. Now, if only I could move past my nervous feelings of wishing there were a hidden camera in the classroom…!

Welcome to childhood, little lady!

P.S. Heaps of thanks to The Garden School team for making our first week of school so wonderful!!

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