September 6, 2011
He won't say it, because he can't, but John is anxious about the first day of school. He tells us with his humming. He tells us when he runs away. He tells us with his pushes and kicks when we give him the schedule for the day.
The folks at Salem Hyde Elementary School have blessed us with three orientations, two more than most typical kindergartners get. He had a private tour of the school a few weeks ago, then the orientation with all of his classmates and finally, this morning, a time alone in the classroom with the teachers and aides that will be such a big part of his life over the next few months. They've been gracious and inviting, but John's anxiety remains piqued. He knows that life is about to change.
As parents, we also have first-day jitters. I'm nervous - about his safety, about how he will react to new surroundings, about how teachers and other children will react to him. Will he run away? Will he lash out at his teachers or the other kids? Will he simply throw endless tantrums, careening around the classroom in fits of fear and anger?
In a couple of weeks, this may all seem routine, but on the eve of his first day of school, it is anything but.
David Tyler is the publisher of Eagle Newspapers and Syracuse Parent. He lives in Eastwood with his wife, Carrie, and two children, John and Abby. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.