Wednesday, August 6, 2014

New town, new house, new school.

One of the things I was most nervous about when we moved was Kemper starting over in a brand new (to him) school.  If anything, I'll admit that this is one of my biggest anxieties of our military lifestyle.  He and Hudson are going to be the new kids more times that I want to imagine.  When we first moved, he kept telling anyone who asked that he was most excited about school so he could make new friends (cue my heart breaking every single time).  The closer it got, the less we heard him mention that.  On the night we went to his school to meet the teacher and see his classroom, his teacher asked him if he was excited for school to start.  My sweet boy who has always been excited for school looked her square in the eyes and said, "no."  I asked him later why he had said no and he mumbled a bit about new people and being nervous about the work.  

I want to add that even though him being the new kid has been one of my biggest anxieties, I have tried so very hard and will continue to try to not show him my anxieties or pass them on to him.  James is the same way, and by nature is less concerned with being the new kid or having to make new friends.  We have been excitedly talking about school and how he'll get to meet new kids.  We excitedly bought school supplies together and have just in general been talking it up like it is the most exciting thing in the world.  Even with all of that, I was almost dreading the first morning of school.

Kemper and his 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Stokes
The school he's attending this year has changed their hours and school starts at 7:25.  It's not as quick of a drive this year which means that we need to leave our house by 7:00.  Kemper's always been an early riser but so far, I've had to wake him every morning at 6:25 so that he has enough time to eat a quick breakfast and get dressed.  I hate to rush him through breakfast but he really doesn't have much of an appetite that early and I feel like he needs as much sleep as possible.  We may start experimenting with taking some form of breakfast in the car with us as the school year progresses.  Early start time means that he also gets out fairly early.  He loads the bus at 2:30 but has quite the bus ride before he makes it home.  

The first morning, it just so happened that James was off so he could go with us to drop off.  I got up and got myself ready then woke Kemper.  After breakfast and getting dressed, he was a good sport and let me take first day of school pictures.  James woke Hudson up and got him loaded in the car with a cup of milk and snack cup of cereal.  Mrs. Stokes had told us that on the first day, we could walk him in if we wanted to help him find his way.  I was planning to walk him in but on the way when I asked, he said that he knew where he was going and didn't need me to walk him in.  We pulled up to the car drop off line and as soon as the door opened, he was out and didn't look back.  We barely got a bye out of him.  I don't know why I was expecting otherwise because he was the exact same way last year but I couldn't help but feel a little sad.  The little sadness was overshadowed by being so incredibly proud and in awe of this awesome little guy who is so resilient and ready to tackle his new school.  If he was feeling insecure or nervous, he didn't show it.  Hudson wasn't happy at all that "Temper" got out of the car and didn't come back.  His face was pitiful and he never actually audibly cried out but he was struggling to hold it in.  All day he kept asking when Kemper was coming home.  

We ran some errands and it just felt strange without having him with us.  From about 2:30 on, James and I had our eyes on the clock.  I don't know which of us was more excited for him to get home.  The bus driver had told me that it would probably be 3:15-3:30 before he got home so we waited in the house as long as we could stand it before going out to wait for the bus.  James went outside around 3 and I was somehow patient enough to wait until 3:10.  And then we waited....and waited...and waited.  We waited so long that I eventually called the transportation office to find out if the buses were running behind.  She assured me that being over 30 minutes late was normal the first week of school as the drivers are making sure they hit all of their stops and making sure that each little one has a parent waiting for them at their stop.  The bus FINALLY pulled up at hour after it should have arrived.  Kemper got off and was not smiling.  He said he never wanted to ride the bus again...can you blame him?!

It was like pulling teeth to get him to tell us about his day.  He said it was good, he didn't make any new friends yet and that he liked his teacher.  We asked as many questions as we could think to answer and got the shortest answers he could come up with.  :)  For the most part, all he could talk about was how he didn't want to ride the bus and how boring it was.  Poor guy.  Unfortunately, the bus is going to have to work because to pick him up, I would have to wake Hudson up from his nap about an hour into it and I don't think any of us (including Kemper) want to make that sacrifice because he will be a bear the rest of the day.  Thankfully, the last few days have been better and he's been getting home a little earlier each day.  

Overall, he's enjoying 1st grade and is excited.  I can tell that he's exhausted so we've started to push his bedtime up a little bit each night.  Having to wake him up in the mornings just kills me because I already feel like he doesn't get enough sleep (he typically lays in bed for 45 minutes to an hour talking and playing once we put him to bed) but I'm counting on it getting better once we get into a routine and he gets used to being at school all day.  He still says he hasn't met any friends yet but I know that will come with time.  He was happy to report that he sits in between 2 little girls and across from another so I look for the girlfriend announcement any day. ;)  It only took a week in Kindergarten.

This has been a summer of change for him and he's had his whole world turned upside down.  No matter how closely we try to recreate "his room" in a new house, there will always be differences.  No matter how hard we try to ease the transition, there will always be an adjustment period and things that we can't make easy for him.  I pray that he will grow up to be resilient and will be able to handle the moves and being "the new kid" well.  A friend said it best about Kemper when I was telling her about him telling his new teacher he wasn't excited - "Kemper is a loyal kid...his new teacher has to earn his loyalty because right now, his loyalty lies with his old teacher."  I think that description fits him to a tee.  I love this kid and I am continually amazed and proud of him and how he handles whatever life throws his way.  


Sarah said...

I just left a comment but it disappeared into thin air. Ignore if this is a double.

I couldn't find your email address and then I couldn't respond to your comment through my email so, many weeks later, I'm responding to your comment here. I'd love if you could tell me the name of a pediatrician. I need one who doesn't make me feel like a bad mother!!

You have mantle decorating skilz! Please come help me.

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