Today we have another wonderful guest post in our Back To School series! Enjoy this post from Ashley!
Raise your hand if you loved school and looked forward to that exciting first day, full of promise and hope for a great school year.
Okay, that’s nice.
Now, raise your hand if you dreaded it knowing you’ll forget something or wear the wrong outfit. Or maybe you were in the middle, like me. I did okay in school. I was never the teacher’s pet or miss popularity but there were some good points like chocolate milk, rectangle pizza on Friday and art class.
Flash forward about 20-some years later and I’m about to send my first born, Autumn, off to Pre- K. I can’t believe it. She’s going to have to do this all on her own and I can’t be there to make her listen, sit still and make sure she keeps her legs together so she doesn’t reveal her underwear to poor joey over in the corner.
So as the day arrived she was READY. She was all decked out with a doe-eyed princess backpack, bright pink, (You know, the kind that makes you want to puke, but I didn’t put up a fight. Who am I to squash her individual style? ) knock-off twinkle toe shoes, (what preschooler would know the difference?) and big smile on her face.
I, on the other hand, was NOT ready. The school called the day before informing us that the paperwork was not in and she was not registered. It was a mess, but after a few phone calls, trips to the school and emails she was set. (Well not totally but enough that they promised to let her in the doors the next morning.) But, I felt bad. I at least wanted to try to hide the fact that I was one of “those” moms. Seriously who doesn’t have their kid registered the day before school starts? AND we missed the “back to school” BBQ… I mean really! I didn’t want to start off the year so unorganized. I was running around like chicken with my head cut off the night before trying to get everything just right. But, somehow it all came together and I was determined to remain positive for Autumn.
We arrived early and I used that precious time in the car to mentally and emotionally prep her for her big day. We prayed and talked her through how she was going to obey her teachers, follow directions and play nice with the other kids. Watching the clock I realized… Oh Crud! I didn’t brush her teeth! “Oh well, chew this gum for a few minutes. Okay, great, let’s do this thing.” Walking up the sidewalk I tried to take in every moment, every sweet expression on her face. I felt so nervous for her. What was she going to face today? Would the kids be nice to her? Would her teachers like her? Would she be the bully? I really was hoping to home school her, but ever since she was diagnosed by a specialist with mild autism we knew she needed all the socialization she could get.
I struggle with worry and slightly negative thought patterns that I’m sure were formed throughout my childhood and I totally see how I am projecting my self-doubt onto Autumn and her school experience. Luckily, she is not me and her resiliency reminds me of this daily. The principal meets us at the door and Autumn confidently says, “Hi I’m Autumn and I’m very pretty.” Aaaaand, then she twirls. This girl is going to do just fine.
Ashley is married and lives in Virginia where she is a SAHM to 4 year old Autumn and 1 year old Sadie.