Things have been going well at our house. We had a wonderful Easter, despite my TBP’s uncertainty with an outdoor egg hunt. If you remember from my previous post, he was concerned about the eggs being contaminated by animal urine, dirt or lawn fertilizer. In addition to Easter, we received his report card and was very happy with his grades. We were especially happy with high grades in “effort” since this wasn’t always the case. Yes, things were better…and then there was Friday.
My son’s class has been studying Africa and as a culminating activity, family members were invited to watch a performance. I first learned about this event through an email from the classroom teacher. I wasn’t sure that my son understood what was planned, so the night before, I explained what was going to happen.
The next day, I left work in time to pick up a coffee for my TBP’s teacher before going to his school. When you have a kid like mine, it never hurts to bring a latte! As I walked by the windows to his class, I saw all the kids were sitting on the carpet and mine was sitting at his desk.
This can’t be good.
The hallway filled up with parents and grandparents and I began to worry. Often, my son’s anxiety occurs at the most inopportune times like holidays, dinners in fancy restaurants, or trips so why would it be any different at school. Soon, the classroom teacher opened the door and the waiting adults swarmed as if there were free Starbucks cards being passed out.
“He doesn’t want to participate in the Reader’s Theater, but he picked out a special place for you to sit with him.” The teacher led me to a table that was off to the side and my boy joined me. Instantly, he began to nuzzle me and try to hide his face from the strangers. To onlookers, this behavior seems unexpected for a boy of his age and height.
You could have heard a pin drop while the other kids spoke their lines; but once the performance was over, the room grew louder and louder. As this happened, all of the color drained out of my poor son’s face. It was obvious that he was struggling so his teacher came over to help. “Why don’t you take mom to your desk to show her your work and your art?” My son couldn’t answer her or focus; when I looked over to see the crowd near his desk, I knew that was out of the question. Seeing the discomfort in his face, his teacher went and got his work. It was clear that we needed to leave.
Once in the car, my son burst into tears and explained how hard that was for him. After talking more, I learned that the third grade buddies had joined their class earlier and that the lunch room had seemed especially loud as well. As he cried, I cried. It was hard to see him struggle and I was fearful that school felt like this everyday.
Do we need another meeting with the school staff?
Maybe he should eat in the office again instead of the lunchroom?
Should we pull him out and home school him?
An hour went by, and slowly my son returned. He asked for a snack and started up a conversation. Although he was feeling much better, I was still concerned about what I had seen. “Is that how school is for you all the time?”
“No, but today was especially hard because of all the noise and the people.” He continued, “But I feel better…don’t throw away my Africa stuff because I want to save it.”
“I won’t throw it away…I’m wondering if we should think about homeschooling?”
“No! I don’t want to do school at home. I like my school and I want to see my friends and when I’m home…I want to be able to relax.”
Quite frankly…I thought that he would jump at the chance to be homeschooled. I was surprised and relieved that he felt so positive about school. That was the last day of school before Spring Break and honestly…I think the timing was perfect! I hope that he still feels so positive about school when it is next Sunday night!