She looked at LP carefully and my throat caught a little. Here we go. I made myself smile.
“So… he has Down syndrome?”
From here, it usually goes few ways:
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Well. Mouse, you went to school. Big kid school.
School, where there are hundreds and hundreds of other kids. School with many rooms, many teachers, a principal, and a lunch room. I have no idea why, but the presence of a lunch room made it very official for me. SCHOOL.
For how introverted you are and often how anxious you get in social situations, you are very independent when it comes to separation. I can’t explain it. When I dropped you off at her preschool for the first time, all I could think about was how you’d been so impossible to leave as an infant (so impossible that it was the reason I became a stay-at-home mom). I was imagining bawling, boogers, clinging for dear life to my leg. not so much. You ran into the room, put your stuff away, and went to play. I said goodbye you waved, and turned right around to play. No tears, no anxiety, nothing.
Truth be told, I remember thinking, well, either a) I did the right thing by staying home, because now she’s great at handling separation, or b) this kid has completely hoodwinked me and I am a huge sucker for leaving the most promising job I ever had. You’re probably shocked to hear that I chose to believe option “a”.
This morning you strolled into the classroom with a very similar attitude but were greeted with some very, very, very sad little comrades. One poor little boy was actually trying to run away and the teachers kept having to grab him from bolting out of the room. We have some good friends whose son is also going to your school, and he was there too.
When we walked in, your friend was facing away from me. He seemed fine, so I tapped him on the shoulder to say hi. He turned around and I saw that he’d been crying. A lot. Poor little guy couldn’t even really say hello. Too busy sniffling and clutching his lovey. You sort of gave me this, “Um, is this place legit?” kind of look, and I did my best to be cheery. I told you to try to cheer your friend and the other kids up, since they might be sad about leaving their mommies and daddies.
“I don’t really get sad about leaving you, Mommy. I get sad about leaving Daddy sometimes though.”
Well, thanks, daughter. Geez. I know you’re a daddy’s girl, but clearly we are going to need to work on some social finesse there.
I’m going to give you a pass on the last one because you’re in a huge daddy phase, but let’s work on that. I’m not greedy, just a little hug would suffice. (But… I can’t blame you for missing Daddy. He works long hours and I miss his awesomeness too sometimes.)
Happy first day of school, sweetie. May you be joyfully enriched by pipe cleaners, circle time, and Elmer’s glue. xox