Looking sharp for his first day of 1st grade
Due to some redistricting in our county Twirl went to a new school this year. Upon hearing this was going to happen I immediately panicked. Now, they are both equal distance away from our house and each super close, both excellent rated schools, so it really shouldn't be a concern. But since my kid just picked a new floral print lunchbox, it was.
There were some kids transferring from his old school with him, a few from his class, all boys. Twirl is friends with boys and girls but he really plays with mostly girls. He was bummed that his favorite was staying at the old school but in general didn't seem nervous at all. They had an open house where they got to visit the school. They got a tour of the school, got to ride in a bus over to the new school and they gave them cookies. It was a hit.
I was increasingly nervous about the switch. Would this school be as welcoming, would the kids make fun of him, would the teachers understand or would they want to push him toward a gender norm? We decided to go in and talk to the Principal and Vice Principal before the year began. I was thankful for their quick response, especially considering they had a great deal to do with teachers and kids shifting.
We met in the Principals office. Man, I hadn't been in there for awhile! I thanked them both for taking the time to meet with me and told them a little about Twirl. "He is a boy who likes girl things. His backpack, lunchbox shoes and sometimes shirts are pink. He prefers playing house to tag and he is obsessed with fashion and dancing. He knows he is different and that being different is great. He sometimes has a hard time telling the teacher or us if someone makes fun of him. So I just wanted to meet with you and let you know a little bit about him and that we support him in his choices. We believe that behavior is led by the parent and teachers, his preferences are led by him, we just want that to stay that way. We don't want anyone to crush his spirit and confidence."
The principals response was " How can we help?"
Second question "Does he ride the bus?"
Yes, we are going to like this school. The first response was not judgment, not aggravation, but an interest in helping. This was followed by what she knew might be a risk area, the school bus. Now our county doesn't have a worse problem then anyone else's on school buses. But if you ever rode one, you know if someone is going to act up, it will likely be there.
We had a great conversation and I left feeling relieved and positive about this school year.
Twirl was so excited for the first day of school. I parked the car and walked him into the school. I love the excitement of the first day, crying parents and excited kids with all their new supplies. We made our way to Twirl's class and that kid couldn't ditch me fast enough. I snapped a few quick shots and let him have his space. All day at work I couldn't wait to hear how his first day went. All day worrying what could be going wrong, would he make friends, would he be himself?
In the afternoon I got a text from Cory after picking him up from school. "He said 'It was awesome!'" Day 2 was great and day 3 brought some teasing but also his first lost tooth! The tooth overscored the teasing and the teacher handled it wonderfully. We are so very grateful to have her.
On day 5 as we were driving in the car to school, where all the best conversations happen, Twirl asks me "You know what I don't like about my new school?" Oh no, here it comes, what kind of torture is my kid enduring? …."In gym they never let us walk, they make us run the WHOLE time."
I can't leave out Tornado and Firecracker on their first day of Preschool