Nate and school

It doesn’t coincide that outgoing and extroverted equals liking change — at least for my child, it doesn’t. Not at this point anyways. Even before school started, he balked at starting first grade. “School is BORING, I hate school, we don’t get to PLAY at school.” He didn’t want to leave his summer school where most of what they did was play. He had also noticed during our Open House visit that the first grade classroom didn’t have the play areas that the kindergarten classroom did. So true. First grade is when school gets serious, Buddy.

So yesterday was Nate’s first day of school. I took the proverbial first day of school picture with him whining about it:

Do we have to do this AGAIN?

Mind you, this is only the second time we’ve done this. I hope to do this every year as a good way of seeing how much he’s grown from year to year, which is exactly what I told him. My smart-mouth child responded with:

You didn’t do it when I started preschool.

Ohhh, the day was already starting on a positive note. See?? Mom grits her teeth in some sort of painful smile and starts the day determined to be cheerful about it. Dammit!

We get to Nate’s school and I take him into the building, his hand clutching mine. I take him to his classroom where I know when I made my big mistake which was not taking his hand out of mine and running the other way. Does that sound cold? Oh, I know it must, but you don’t know my kid. He quickly turned around and held onto me for dear life, crying and saying how scared he was. YES, YES, it melted my heart so I tried to talk to him about it. “It will be fine, look, your friend J. is there, sitting in the seat right beside you, Mrs. M. is here, you met her the other day, blahblahblah,” doing all the wrong things I think, but he absolutely broke my heart. And I couldn’t get his arms off of me. Seriously. You don’t know this kid or his strength or intelligence. You ply one arm off, then work on the other arm and the other one gets back on you. It just doesn’t work. It would take some form of child abuse to really get his arms OFF of me, and I just can’t do THAT.

So I finally talk him into sitting at his desk, but that’s only if I sit right beside him. *sigh* Oh my. What a sight. I told him I’d give him five minutes beside him and then I had to leave. His equally smart-mouthed best buddy next to him turned to me at one point and said, very calmly, “I think it’s been more than five minutes.” Ohhhhhhh, J. I don’t suppose we can say, “Mind your effing business” to a six year old, now can we? More gritted teeth.

The different chair worked. I slipped out of his grasp. Oh, I know how it sounds. Pitiful. Cruel, perhaps. Weak on my part. I’ll take all of those. Just throw in: like a mom who feels for her hurt son and doesn’t know what to do about it. Except try not to cry right there along with him — which was hard enough in itself.

I left the classroom and motioned to his teacher that I wanted to talk to her outside the classroom. She was able to get away for a few minutes so I told her what I thought was going on with Nate.

I can’t talk about this without crying . . . [as the waterworks started] . . . . he’s had a really hard time. I have advanced breast cancer which he’s been dealing with since last Dec. I think that’s part of what his behavior is about. I just had surgery for it a few weeks ago. [I can’t remember what else I said but I cried through the whole thing]. It’s so hard to see him like this. I know my mistake was staying too long and I’m sorry for that. I wanted to tell you about this anyways, but it didn’t seem to be something to put on that form that we had the other night; it’s just not something to put on a “getting to know your child” form in a few lines. [she agreed]. Also, if he acts out, it could be due to stresses with this. [She mentioned that if he does act out, he could talk to the school counselor]. That’s fine. And I don’t want any exceptions made for him if he acts out . . . . we also have a family therapist and he’ll be out of school sometimes for that. blahblahblah

I can’t really remember what else I said, but she closed the door so he couldn’t see me as I left. I cried on the way home and then some after that.

I felt terrible. I felt like I had blown it somehow, in some way. Like I should have, could have handled it better.

The one good thing that did come out of this is that Nate’s teacher knows our situation, his situation, and I wanted her to know that before too long. Even though the bulk of my treatment is over, I still have maintenance chemo once/week and I’ll start radiation very soon. I go in for my radiation consultation today.

It hurts my heart every time I think of how much my cancer has affected my boy. I never wanted to hurt him like this, but of course it certainly wasn’t my choice. As I said in my previous post, cancer affects so many more people than just the person who’s diagnosed. When I was first diagnosed, I said that no 6 year old should have to go through this [meaning, having a mother who has cancer].

Really? — no one, of any age, should have to go through this.

It’s the kids who get me the most, though.


Oh, by the way, when I picked Nate up yesterday, he bounced out of school with his best buddy and proclaimed he had a “great” day.

Of course. Heh. 😀

Sometimes the Mom just needs to get out of the way. If she could just get those cling-on arms and hands off of her!

As always, Stand Up To Cancer.

Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.


6 Responses to Nate and school

  1. […] to Mothers With Cancer. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Blahbahdee Blah BlahFirst-day-of-school outfits […]

  2. throwslikeagirl74 says:

    Ugh. I hate having that conversation with the teacher too. I wish we could just be worried about their normal fears, like being in school all day, or all those big kids when they were used to all little ones at preschool. *hugs*

  3. bcjenster says:

    When my youngest started kindergarten I had the same issue with her. It was horrible and I cried all day. The difference is I was healthy at that time. How much harder to go through the same thing with the added sadness/stress/crappiness (for all concerned) of cancer.

  4. I agree that the effect on the kids is the hardest. I have no evidence of disease for almost 2 years and we are still dealing with fears and long term issues. Our kids should not have to face these issues. My son’s teacher was great the year I was going through most of my treatment. The one he had last year was horrible and caused his situation to get even worse. I have my fingers crossed that he will have a good one this year!!!

  5. Laurie says:

    You brought me to tears with this post. I can totally relate. And I don’t agree that you did all the “wrong” things. You did what felt right to you and that is as it should be.

    I was pleased but not too surprised to hear that Nate had a great day, though. Kids are so resilient!

    xox to you.

  6. Wow. Thanks for sharing!!

    I totally relate. I feel like the poem I posted today, should be right after your post.

    This is the third year that I have to make sure the teachers know about our “situation.” You’d think it might get easier with time. But it doesn’t.

    Our kids, who are older (10-14), are in school so much, I feel like I have to rely on their teachers to be my eyes and ears. It is highly likely that the teacher will notice if something is wrong before I do. I need them on my team!

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