My son struggled to get the bottle of Talking Rain out of the refrigerator when the calendar caught his attention. Instantly, his demeanor changed. He stood in front of the fridge, ignoring the family photos and magnets, and counted the dwindling number of untouched boxes.
I watched him out of the corner of my eye as he analyzed this information. I hoped that he would move away from the calendar and continue to focus on his thirst for seltzer, that his rising anxiety would pass. He took a noticeably big breath and then point-blank asked the question that he didn’t really want to know the answer…
“How many days do we have left of summer?”
I stopped and walked over to the fridge where I started to count the last remaining days. Honestly, the realization saddened me as well. It had all gone so fast and we hadn’t done many of the things that we planned. Summer used to feel like the long, lazy season and now, it seems that the dwindling days are like valuable jewels.
I knew he was experiencing anxiety and I wanted to change-up the energy in the room. I started to ask him what he would like to do with the days that we had left. Before I could finish my ”let’s eat ice cream for dinner” suggestion, his worry was consuming the air in the room with full force.
I don’t want to go to school!
I hate it there!
It is SO boring!
You are a teacher…why don’t you teach me instead?!
Last year, I taught morning kindergarten and was home with my son in the afternoon. As with anything, this had both positive and negative implications. After weighing these pros and cons, I decided to go back to the classroom full-time. I am excited about the rare opportunity to take most of last year’s kindergarten students with me to first grade. The work that we started together can pick up where we left off and I am excited about the close community-feel that can happen when you have students for more than one year. While I know that this will have a positive impact on my students, I am nervous about the transition for my own son.
I wished that my son enjoyed the return to school the way that I did…the way I still do as a teacher. The new school clothes, never been touched school supplies, and the chance to socialize with those outside of the neighborhood…I loved the whole back to school process leading up to the big day!
We used to wait with anticipation for news that the class lists were posted and then families bombarded the previously sleeping school campus. We went from list to list, checking for familiar names and wondering about new names that could be potential BFFs. All of this excitement for a new beginning is one of the reasons why I became interested in the profession.
The biggest problem…I can’t seem to do this for my son.
How does the transition from summer to school go for your child?
Do your children count the days in excitement or dread?
This teacher mama would love to hear!