I was that parent at preschool this morning, snapping endless pictures of my son.  It’s his first day of school, and I want there to be a record.  Something tangible and permanent, something within my control.  He is out of my control now, and for the next two hours, he’ll be in an environment I didn’t plan or organize, learning from people I don’t really know.  I guess I should be used to this, from daycare, but daycare has felt like an extension of home (it’s an in-home daycare, for one thing), and school feels… different.  Bigger.  Less within my grasp.  I cried last week, after the orientation, because I felt powerless.  Powerless to quit work and be with my son full time or at least to be deeply involved in his preschool, powerless to control the many influences that he experiences outside of my presence. 

Will they love him?  Will they see the strengths in him?  Will they be irritated by the things he can’t do yet?  Will his quirky, solitary nature puzzle them?  Will they guide him gently, will they let him take his time?  I’ve experienced many teachers now, in my teaching career, and I know that some of them naturally see the best in children and are determined to meet them where they are, and others are not cut from that generous cloth. 

I’ve also experienced a lot of kids.  And I know how kids can be to other kids.  I was never much of a winner, socially – not as a kid, anyway.  I had a target painted on my back from the get-go, and it was many, many years before I understood that although I am intelligent, I don’t have the same innate social intelligence as many other people – and socially intelligent people can sense that.  Even really young ones.

I’m scared. 

But it’s just preschool, right?  He’ll be fine.

My other baby, my first novel, will soon be out of my control, too.  It frightens me to think of the many different reactions, good and bad, that people will surely have to it.  It frightens me to lose power over it.  Maybe I’m getting good practice right now, letting my flesh-and-blood baby into the world a little bit.  Surely no book debut, however scary, could be as scary as this. 


1 Comment

  1. *hugs*

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