Mom blog: Because I Said So! First day of school

Mom Blogger JacquelynThere’s a whole lot of stress when a child starts a new school. Most of you think September, little jumpers and ankle socks and freshly brushed hair, but I think February 4, yesterday, when my 14-year-old, Graydon, hiked off to a new school quite a distance from where we live.
I took the good advice of parenting experts
1. do a dry run
2. visit the school a couple of times
3. meet the teacher ahead of time
4. explore transportation options
5. plan out the day before, night before and the morning of
6. lay out clothing, school suppliers
7. make a good lunch of familiar favourites
8. make a hot, healthy breakfast
9. leave early.

Done, done, almost done. Breakfast was a Ziploc filled with honey-nut Cheerios and a yogurt. He felt nervous, was wrangling for some ginger Gravol to calm his stomach, but thought the better of it. We rode there quietly, listening to the news every 10 minutes.

I gave him the best advice I could think of: “Don’t borrow trouble. Keep your head down. Just do the work.” That was after I told him what a great school it is, how smart he is, how nice the teacher seemed, blah, blah, blah. When we got there, at four minutes after nine, he slung his pack out of the car and stood there.

“Got anything I can drink?”

“There’s a juice in your lunch.”

“Got anything else?”

Empty coffee cups, empty water bottles.

“Nope. Sorry.”

“Will you pick me up at the subway?”

“Sure, as long as you get on the bus.”

“See ya.”

“See ya.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

And then he ambled off, down a long walkway. This is his seventh school since Grade 5. And we’re not in the Armed Forces, or traveling with a circus. School is a very difficult thing for him.

AND, seven hours later, he had lasted all day, his teacher said he had a great day, met all the kids and he has an excellent sense of humour that drew the kids to him.



3 Responses

  1. Hi
    So you don’t like getting up in the morning to go to school !! You have lots of company but you just have to set your body clock, go to bed so you can sleep for 8 hours and then stand up when you hear the alarm. Now that you are standing, wash your face and brush your teeth. That will help you wake up. Go eat some breakfast and you’ll be ready for school!!!!!
    Give your teachers a big smile and enjoy your day.

    Claycat Nana

  2. Congratulations to you, for sticking with him through all those changes. Changing schools is never easy.
    We had our schools close on us one at a time – “declining enrollment”. My son who is now in grade 12 had 4 schools in 5 years, and it would have been 5 schools in 5 years if we hadn’t been permitted border crossing allowance for one of those years. And that’s in a small city and we lived in the same house the entire time. Amazing.
    What that experience did do though, was convince me that as a parent I needed to stay involved with my kids’ schools and I have been on a school council ever since.
    Don’t have time for yet another “thing” that takes more time you don’t have? Any parent can be on parent council and not “take on homework”. If you can make the time to go the meetings but you know you cannot take extra time to help out at functions, or fundraisers, just be honest up front and tell the chair exactly that. You will still be welcome at the meetings.
    The best thing you can do to support your child’s eduction is to stay interested.

  3. Hi Jackie,
    How wonderful that Graydon had a successful first day at his new school. I know it’s been a rough ride for him and to read of a good first day actually made me misty. I wish him all the best for continued success.

    On another note, if you remember, please send along a very happy birthday to Paige!

    love, jen

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