Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Not as Bad


Okay Kindergarten, I get it.  Sometimes my kid needs me to believe in him instead of bail him out.

I'm learning.  Slowly but surely.

Last night, I didn't fix a pretty significant school issue for Grayson (not being bullied or anything Dateline-ish, don't worry) even though I could've. (I'm using the singular parenting pronoun because my husband was on travel although really, if I'm being honest, most of this crap happens when he's not here anyway.  What's with that, moms? Something else they don't tell us in Lamaze class.)

It was one of those parenting decisions made based on empowerment.  Based on trying to teach them how to cope with life's adversities when they arrive. 

Unfortunately, this is the same breed that makes you question yourself.  It makes you second guess, hold your breath, and gut out the hours until the outcome is revealed because your mommy heart just wants to ask the teacher to be extra patient with your sensitive boy.

You know, like they are in preschool. 

Grayson is having a tough moment with Kindergarten.  He loves school, loves his new friends, loves to rise to the occasion but has been plagued with his "wiggly belly" again.

His nerves have made a serious comeback.  Headaches, upset stomach, dizziness, near bodily collapse, you name it and my poor boy felt it last week and now again this week.  

Last night we had a heart-to-heart right before bed.  He detailed his worries for me, right down to almost hyperventilating about a poem, and begged me to help him fix them with his big 'ol puddled up doe eyes.

I wanted to fix them all for him.  Oh Dear God I wanted to make it okay right in that second like all mommies do.  The most haunting part was that I most likely could've solved things with one e-mail or phone call to his teacher. 

This time felt different though.  I had a sense it would be more beneficial for him to do his own legwork.  Even if that legwork took more painful strides per mile to get there, it was his hill to climb, not mine.

After our chat and a good body hugging cry, we both felt completely ambivalent about the next day.  My "convincing" voice needs some work.  Neither of us bought an ounce of what I was sellin'.

Pep talk number two started in the a.m. when I could see his pale face starting to go Twilight on me again.

"You can do this, Honey.  It's going to be better once you get it off your chest.  The worry is always worse than the outcome," I prattled off to my own shaky hand trying to apply eyeliner.

Oh no. What if he throws up in class?  What if I throw up in the car?  What if they are too busy to help him today?  Am I some kind of horrible mother expecting too much too soon?  He's just a little boooyyyyyy!!!!  Breathe, Freakshow.  It's Kindergarten, not Iraq. 

Before either of us needed a paper bag, we grabbed our things and scooted out the door to drop Grayson off at school.

Then Abby and I went about our day.  We distracted each other with make believe Polly Pocket villages.  I worried, fretted, and regretted my decision to have him deal with things himself.  I needed pick up time to be here so I could wrap him up in my arms, apologize for making him do the scary thing, and feed him several cookies while streamlining Jessie on Disney.

Four o'clock finally arrived and do you know what?  Everything was fine. 

"Mommy!  Our class got FIVE stickers today and a special treat from the office!!  But a few kids did not because they got to yellow and that means they do not get the treat.  I think even some of them got to red."

I listened intently while checking his daily folder for the note about how many times he was sent to the nurse's office with a migraine and hives.  What I found instead were papers with "Grayson" in his own handwriting (I will miss you "Grayzon" ) AND the names of two of his classmates...all written out legibly!  By him!  The boy with the wiggly belly and sad sorrowful eyes.

"Did you talk with your teacher today about ______?"


"How did that go?"

"I don't remember."

-give him a second, shut your piehole woman, wait for it-

"Actually, I do remember. 

(I know, the suspense was killing me too.  He's a man of few words, like his father.  Sometimes I can read an entire article on Huffington Post while waiting for either of them to respond.)

"She said, 'Oh,' and then we lined up for lunch."

"Did that seem to make your belly feel better?" I ask with a quick prayer to the Kindergarten Gods.

"No...I still have a wiggly belly at the day time but it is I think....it is not as bad."

Not as bad.  A parental win, as far as I'm concerned. 

I will certainly be happy to take Not as Bad from him over All Better from me who wants to fix every boo-boo and climb every mountain with Julie Andrews.

This growing up thing is hard to do but I think we're both getting somewhere.


Crystal D said...

You SOOOOO did the right thing. Let him try. You can always back him up after he has had a shot, but learning to fight his battles first is the best kind of confidence builder. I bet his wiggly belly is gone soon.

Good job Momma!

OSMA said...

Thanks so much, Crystal. It was a time to sit on my emailing hands and very proud of him for dealing. His wiggly belly is already disappearing. :)

Cristie Ritz King, M. Ed said...

Perfect. Every word of this story and every step you both took. Three cheers mama and boy. Also, "I could read an entire article before they respond"? Priceless.