I could tell that Lucas was nervous; he was antsy and a little whiney and fought me on what he was going to wear today. I kept telling myself that I'm not too worried, he makes friends quickly and I know he will adjust. But let's be honest here, I was freaking out.
We've had a lot of change over the past few months, and while it's good change - it's still turn-your-world-upside-down change. We are all adjusting. We are all trying to figure things out and find a new groove. Lucas is 6, and while he may go with the flow, in the past 3 months his mom has gone back to work in an office, we moved from pretty much the only home he's ever known (he was 18 months old when we moved in), his room has changed, his school changed and he was leaving the safety and comfort of Kindergarten to move into the big, scary world of first grade and elementary school.
I do love the new school he's going to; it's a big school, but it has a fabulous reputation. We were told to avoid dropping him off at the front of the school if at all possible. Apparently if you park by the backside (by the park) there is a trail that runs right onto campus. As we parked the car and started walking down the trail, Lucas held my hand, his little fingers interlocking with mine. I started thinking back to last year, at the way he clutched my fingers as he walked into the first day of kindergarten. While his fingers are bigger, I could still feel the nervousness, the anxious energy passing through into the palm of my hand. I knew the butterflies fluttering in my stomach were also fluttering in his. As we passed through the gate onto the campus, Lucas dropped my hand. He stood up straight, held onto his backpack straps, and said "I think my new classroom is over here." The tears filled my eyes.
We found his class and met his very nice teacher. She knew Lucas was new to the school and he told her right away that we just moved. As she was talking, he was opening his backpack and putting things on his new desk. A nervous habit of trying to appear busy and together to avoid the emotions coursing through his body. His teacher, Jason and I all sensed this. We all knew what he was feeling.
And I started crying.
Because really, the best way to make an impression on your kid's new teacher and to ease your child's anxiety is to lose it yourself, right?
I felt like an idiot and kept repeating "He'll be fine.. I'm not worried about him." But I was. How could I not be? He's my kid, I know that he was probably lucky enough to inherit my anxiety issues. I knew that he's confidant and friendly and bright. I knew that by the end of the day he would be fine. I also knew exactly at that point he also wanted to cry, but knew he couldn't.
This past weekend, Lucas tested for his "Green Belt with White Stripe" in Tang Soo Do Martial Arts and rocked it. For each level he tests for, he has to break a board with a different punch or kick. This level's kick was a hook kick - a complicated kick that needed to be done precisely or it wouldn't crack the board. Lucas was one of the last kids in the class to attempt the break. He watched as many of his counterparts, some of them older kids that he looked up to, didn't make the break. He got up there, took a few practice shots, and on his fourth try, snapped the board clean in half. The kid is now halfway to being a black belt.
Before I left his class this morning I reminded him of this. I reminded him of his accomplishments and all he can do. I gave him a hug and kiss and reminded him to eat all his lunch. Then I stood up, took a deep breath, and walked out of the classroom.