Feed on


School starts tomorrow and I am a bundle of nerves. Not the kind of nervous energy that helps me to paint a room, prepare for business meetings, or take on a new project, just the kind that makes my stomach feel wobbly and has me second guessing myself. It was bad enough when my school-eve nerves only affected me. Having them relate to and possibly affect someone else is a special kind of miserable.

The worst of it is that I’m not even sure what I’m insecure about. About Simon? About my parenting of Simon? Both? Misplaced work stress?

I don’t know.

What I do know is this:

I know that last year Simon had a fabulous time at KIP, but he got off to a rough start. Rough as in, I wasn’t sure he was going to make it. It was really, really hard for him to leave the cocoon of home and adapt to a group setting. Now it’s true that Simon is a year older, has been in school or camp for most of the year, and should adapt more easily the changes starting tomorrow. But it’s also true that Simon hates changes, and that while last year there were twelve kids and six teachers in his room, this year there will be ten kids and only two teachers. How will he handle the new set-up?

I don’t know.

I also know that a year ago Simon was bright, affectionate, curious, gentle, and sensitive to the point of being timid. And I know that this year, one year on, my little boy is bright, affectionate, curious, gentle, and sensitive to the point of being timid. Yesterday an 18-month-old girl at the pool took a toy from Simon. He looked at her, remained still as a statue while she grabbed the truck away, and cried. Put up no defense at all. What is he going to do in a class with nine other kids and no personal attendant to help clear his path?

I don’t know.

And I know that the two-year-old class is all about “independence” according to his teacher Ms. Jill. That word makes me squirm because while Simon has been asserting his independence quite a bit in the last few months, I still do many things for him that I think other parents don’t. I still carry him sometimes if he’s tired or scared. I still dress him and undress him with limited assistance from him. I still cut up his sandwiches. I still kiss every real or imagined boo-boo. I still change his diapers. Is that too much?

I don’t know.

And I know that every parent makes a different set of decisions and choices, and that often times these differences come to look like judgments. I thought I was old enough and secure enough to say, “This is my way. That is your way. It’s OK if we differ. I can only be the person/parent that I am; I must be the person/parent that I am.” But when I see evidence that Simon is perhaps not as independent, not as assertive, and/or not as compliant as other children, I suddenly begin to question that self assuredness and worry I’m not doing something right. Am I making mistakes?

Wait, I know the answer to this one. Sure I am. And so is everyone else.

But am I making big mistakes?

I don’t know.

So tonight I’m on edge as I fret about the new school year and my parenting. I know Simon is a little different from his peers, and I’m just desperate for his teachers to be OK with those differences and to like him. Typing this had been cathartic, as has been the caramel apple, dried mango slices, cup of water, and glass of wine I’ve consumed while doing so. Pathetic? Probably. But it’s pretty much come down to that or my getting on the phone with other parents I think will be supportive and spilling my guts. And the thing is, many of them have to get their kids ready for the first day of school tomorrow, too.

Simon may be too young to be all independent and grown up, but his mama is not. This I know.

One Response to “Nerves”

  1. blg says:

    Incredibly insightful and honest post, Jessica. Glad to see that the title of the next one is “off to a good start”

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