We've encountered a few changes in the past several months. Listing, selling, packing, and moving from the only home my children knew. Finding, buying, and closing on a new home that Connor and Blake have yet to experience. Moving in with two very VERY generous friends, their dog, and three children while we wait to take posession of our new home while Echo vacations at her BAM & Papa's house across town. Oh yeah, and starting Connor in his new school.
It seemed to make sense: start Connor in his new school this week and move into our house next week. One change at a time. This is a new idea to our family as we typically do everything at once. We subscribe to the "more is better" philosophy when it comes to making major life changes. The more things that you can do at one time, the better, right?
All weekend we talked to Connor about his new school. His new friends. His new teachers. And the new toys to play with.
Connor and I, hand-in-hand, walked into his new school on Monday. I held my breath as we crossed the threshold and counted to three...one....two....three. We were in. No tears yet. Connor was still in good spirits and talking non-stop about his new friends and the new toys on the playground.
We proceeded to enter his classroom, talk with his teachers for a few minutes, and meet a few of the kids in his class. One kid, Micah, was particularly welcoming. He grabbed a dinosaur and brought one to Connor. They instantly started laughing and attacking each others dinosaur. I held Nunu close to Connor because I knew that he needed all of the comforting and familiar items on a challenging day like this.
I even took the liberty of introducing Micah to Nunu.
"Hey Micah, this is Connor's fried, Nunu."
Micah thought for a second and replied, "Oh, ok." He then pointed to Connor and said, "Hey, he's NEW too!"
They were instant friends and continued their intense game of Dinosaur Wars.
After giving Connor the most loving and comforting hug and kiss that I could, I told him that I had to go to work and that I'd see him after he played and ate lunch and took a nap. His tears were instant and he said, "Mommy don't leave me! I will miss you. I want to go home!" I knew it. I just knew that this was too much for him to handle. Too much and all at one time. What were we thinking?!? Just because Dennis and I were handling it perfectly, we couldn't expect a 3 year old to be able to handle all of this, too. I felt like a failed parent and a bad mom.
After I finally separated myself from Connor, the tears started to fall down my own cheeks. Then they started to come even faster. Before I knew it, I was losing it. And this was all before 9AM on a Monday morning.
The Director of the school saw me and asked if I would like to go to her office for a few minutes. I told her no, that I was OK.
A teacher from a different class walked by and said, "Oh...is this the first day you are bringing a new baby to school? I know it's so hard but I promise it'll get better...."
I responded that no, I was leaving my 3 year old for the first time at that school.
"Oh, is it his first day in school? Has he never been in day care or school before?"
"No..it's not his first day in a school. He's been in school for several years. A different school. And he's very social, he just loves all of his friends. And he's funny. He's hilarious, actually, and always wants to be first in line. You see, we just sold the only home he knows and bought a new home. AND we're staying with friends. It's just so much change. And it's all at once. He's having a hard time with all of this. I know he'll do well, I just know he will. It's just so much....so much going on right now. He said he wants to go home."
The Director for the school overheard this and asked me to please follow her. She waited until Connor was looking the other way, and told me it was OK to peek through the glass into his classroom to see him.
She smiled and looked at me. "He's OK. He's not even crying anymore. Look, he's playing with Micah and laughing..."
Oh, what a heavy weight was lifted from my heart in that moment. He WAS doing well. And he even looked like he might be having fun.
As I walked to my car with make-up smeared across my face, I came to an important realization: Connor is doing just fine. He is handling all of these changes amazingly well. So well, in fact, that he could probably teach his mom a few things...