Tuesday I learned an important lesson in photography. My dad was in charge of photographing Bub's first day of school. Looking through the photos it starts with happy, almost giddy smiles by the school sign, the excitement of standing in a growing lump of kids crowding the school doors, the impatience of finally making it to the classroom, a few clingy hugs...and that's where the pictures stop. That is the exact moment that everything, everything fell apart. Tuesday I learned that when everything starts falling apart, the photo shoot stops. When life starts falling apart, you stop, put everything away, regroup, and focus.
Remember that cheery post about a confident first day of Kindergarten? That...is not what happened. And by now I've told the story so many times it feels thick and sludgy to retell it here. The bullet points are: Bub fell apart, in a classic 5-year-old way, and it lasted all week, and my heart stung and still stings but we are slowly making progress. Everyday is a little bit better, and yesterday I even got Bub to crookedly grin and mumble "I kind of like school." Slowly, we're getting there.
What surprised me most about this week is that I didn't realize how much I had to learn. I thought starting school was about Bub learning, but I stumbled and grew right along with him. I hadn't realized what a difference there was between being a "school" mom and a "non-school" mom. I didn't realize I would feel so unsure and new, me..a mom of THREE kids, feeling like a rookie all over again. Awkwardly navigating my double stroller through the clumps and clumps of kids, being stopped by school administration for going down the wrong hallway, standing tearfully outside the gym not sure whether to leave or run back in to snatch up my sobbing child and run back home where things were safe, and easy, and secure. With everything I've learned, all the kids I've had, all the challenges I've overcome, here I was at what felt like square one in the motherhood plight of "what am I doing again...?"
But what surprised me even more than feeling unsure is how many people rallied behind me. And beside me and in front of me and all around me. So many people that I never even expected to notice my struggle sent text messages and support and hope all week long. Moms that I knew from preschool stopped me in the hallway with pats on the back and offerings of help. Moms that I didn't know, complete strangers, did the same. Moms that I don't even know the names of waited patiently with me and let me cry and assured me so confidently that it was going to get better. It was the littlest of things that got me through this week, and the more I got through this week the more Bub got through this week. As my confidence grew, his confidence grew. Until by Friday evening I laid Scooter down and closed my eyes for just a second, and 9 hours later woke up fully clothed, makeup and all. And Bub, in kid version, did the same. We were completely worn down to just a tiny nub of exasperated energy, but we had survived.
I can't remember ever being so excited for the weekend. But also, I'm equally excited for next week because I think we're ready to keep going. Friday Bub even skipped to the truck after school. Skipped. A carefree happy-go-lucky skip. A little regrouping, refocusing, and a lot of rallying of the troops and we are both ready to keep going. Onward...more learning and more confidence awaits us.
This morning this is what our regrouping looked like. A few minutes of pajama lounging before we took on the day. Onward...
Read more from Jessica at bubandteebs.com