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Monday, October 04, 2004

School Ties

This morning was Ross and Gavin's second day in public school. At first, I was planning on driving Ross, but as we were pulling on jackets and backpacks, Gavin voiced his preference for his moms. I could see he still felt uneasy about school, only being his second day and all, and as we were readying to leave he remembered that him and Ross were going to two different places. Gavin has spent little time away from his big brother. This is a whole new experience for Gavin. He's out in the world alone for the very first time. Even when we went to the church homeschool co-op or later, the charter school, one of us was always in the building, right nearby. I think he feels a little anxious and scared about being alone.
I am grateful for his teacher right now, a first grade teacher from when I myself attended the very same elementary school 24 yrs ago. I didn't have her as a teacher, but remember her as the "other first grade teacher" who had the classroom across the hall. I always remember her class having more fun and her as being a teacher everyone liked. She is a big, loving, grandmotherly type whose classroom attracts many. As we chatted in the hallway on Friday, she plucked various small children off her skirt, urging them to rush to their own classrooms, because the tardy bell had rung, and they would be late for class. I lauged to myself when I realized that kids that weren't even in her class were wanting to be near her, to hug her and have her attention.
I felt I was in a Twilight Zone timewarp, standing in that hallway, my eyes taking in all of the sights of this place I had not seen since I myself was a first grader at this very school. Its very weird. I was only there for the first grade. I attended another elementary school, in the same district, for grades 2-6 because my family moved, so I never had a reason to go back inside, until now.
Gavin does not seem too impressed by all of this, of course, as he has his eyes directed at all his little classmates. He's very overwhelmed. He didn't even smile when a little girl came up to us and announced, "HEY, I'm his FRIEND you know". He turned his face into my side and wouldn't look at her, then burst into tears. His new friend seemed unfazed by this, told me her name was Lira and went inside the classroom. I told Gavin Mrs. B was a very good teacher and would take very good care of him. I told him to smile and that everything would be alright. I reminded him of the sliced red peppers I put in his lunch. That cheered him for half of a second.
Mrs. B took over for me, hugging Gavin, trying to involve him in conversation about the cold morning we were having. I like her so much for this. She met my eyes and assured me he would be great, it was just a little separation anxiety, and that he did really well after I left on Friday. He reluctanly went inside, his eyes red, struggling to maintain his composure.
On the way out, I recognized a mother at the doors, chiding some little girls about how the bell had rung. I went to junior high with her, I'm pretty sure.
Lucas missed Ga-gaw when he's at school. He says his name all the way home and I tell him about the things his brothers do while they're away. Then he says, "I wanna gota school tooooo." But he sure likes having his mom (and the TV) to himself.