Well, I didn’t post any first day of school pics on my facebook news feed like so many of my fellow mom friends. Mainly because I was too preoccupied with settling my kiddo into his classroom and praying he (and his teacher) survived the day. For the most part it was a success! He likes his teacher and to his delight she just happens to have some new pet rats in the classroom.
Everyone I have talked to seems to think this particular teacher is an excellent fit for Jonah. She focuses on art and science and in her note home today she stated that she doesn’t send homework home. That will be a load off of me who had to disregard most of his homework from 1st grade due to his social and academical overload.
Jonah’s approach to school has matured with age and experience and will continue to change (hopefully for the better) as he grows older. It’s still rocky for him and unfortunately for anyone who comes into contact with him at school. It’s going to take years of practice and study of human behavior for him to understand why kids are doing the things they do when trying to relate to him. So far he believes all children are against him. Chasing him relentlessly to abuse him in some form or another or punching him with a touch that I would disregard as a pat on the back or an accidental bump.
Yes, those social instincts are blatantly not there in my child. He simply does not understand social interaction in the way that I did as a child. His first negative interaction at school began today on the playground where he found himself trapped by ‘mean’ kids who were ‘bullying’ him and not giving him space to get down. His solution? To use his most aggressive Karate moves to kick some bully ass and get himself out of there.
Lucky for everyone, his kicks aren’t that powerful at the moment and there are teachers around to disarm the situation. But Jonah holds grudges and his frustrations about the incident resonated throughout his day and as I lay down with him at bedtime he once again ran the situation over and over in his little brain trying to figure out why the kids pick on him so much.
To this I truly have no answers. He’s tired of my ‘solutions’ and thinks they are merely rambles from his mother.
My only true solution is to try to wrap my brain around his point of view and accept that this child of mine sees the world through very different eyes. He is a social blunder. Cute as a button, smart as a whip and cannot seem to bond with one single child. To him, they are mean to him and always trying to hurt him in one way or another.
I’m not disregarding that he is an individual. God designed my son in a unique and perfect manner. He’s not broken in need of fixing and he’s not a lost cause or impossible. He simply works in ways that are different than the norm (if there is a norm) and my world alone would be much less interesting without his perspective.
My hopes and prayers for Jonah this school year are that he is able to ground himself doing something he loves. I pray that he finds small successes that will lead to big successes and that he can compile all that he’s experienced thus far in his little life and turn it into something positive.
My prayer for my children (even before they were born), has been that they will be helpers, kind and seek to love others. Grades and academics matter very little to me, but personal relationships, honesty and integrity are at the top of my list when it comes to success. I still believe God has given me the heart to pray for this to be true of my children. So far, it seems that Jonah is the one who is having the love, acceptance and tolerance heaped onto him, but in turn he may learn to return all that he’s been given and show the same kindness to fellow classmates in the future. He simply might be the kind of person who needs to experience before he can go out and give to others.
For now, Jonah’s world is still working itself out. He’s young and has a while to learn who he is in relation to himself and to others. And for now I choose to focus on giving him things he can succeed at and not put pressure on finding him a friend. Personal goals, once achieved will grow his self esteem and widen his perspective as a responsible person. School provides many opportunities to succeed and feel accomplishment. As does his Karate. Personal goals that grow positive experiences. That’s my solution. Along with quality family time and reassurance that his family will always be there for him.
I have great hopes for this school year. After next week I will have both of my children in school and although I feel that time has moved so quickly, I know that this is a good thing for both of them. The amount of growth that Jonah received from the beginning of 1st grade to the beginning of 2nd grade has been tremendous and I foresee more growth in the right direction. He certainly has many people looking out for him. People whom I am grateful for and have come to rely on. It truly does take a village to grow a child and I am so thankful that I don’t have to do it alone.