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Simon just finished his first week in the 3s class at Keneseth Israel. And whereas previous years were marked by tears, apprehension, and general difficulty acclimating to a new setting, this year has been the exact opposite.

The very first day, Simon looked a tad nervous. But we talked about it. And what with his being three, we could really talk about first day jitters and nerves and what it all means. We could also talk about his new teachers, all his friends that are in class with him, and the excitement of being upstairs with the big kids.

Once Simon reached the top of the stairs and heard his friends, we were set. No tears at drop-off. No stories about his having trouble joining in. No accounts of over-reaction. None of it. Every day the teachers tell me “he’s doing great”, and every day Simon himself seems happy and energized when I pick him up.

I give the credit to three factors. One, he’s a year older, and we’ve been working on his adaptability and coping mechanisms for a year. Two, this year, with one or two exceptions, all the kids he loves best are in his class. Had I chosen his classmates myself for completely selfish purposes, I could not have done much better. And three, his teachers are the perfect fit for him.

When I’ve asked how he’s doing, this is what I hear:

“He’s such a delightful little boy.”

“He’s so sweet.”

“We love having him.”

“The girls all like to take care of him, and he seems to like the fuss.”

“He talks so well! If we ask a question, he never says just ‘yes’; he says things like ‘sure thing!’ or ‘you betcha!’. We love that. “

And my favorite:

“You know, the only time he gets upset is if another child is upset. But as long as we talk to him about it and explain how we are making her feel better, Simon is fine. He’s just very tuned in to others and needs that reassurance. We love that about him.”

Upon hearing this last part, I nearly fell to the floor and wept from joy. Ms. Shana and Ms. Tammy get him. We’re only four days into the year, but I can tell they know who he is, like who he is, and respect who he is. I asked Simon tonight if he liked his new teachers, and he answered with a quick “Of course I do, Mommy!”

Given all I’ve reported above, Of course he does!

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