After School Transition

How wonderful to have my second-grader race across the schoolyard to shout, “I had a great day, Mom!” The newly-minted first-grader, though not as ecstatic, seemed to concur; she had lots of good, insightful stories to share. We sat in the shade before walking home so that I could nurse baby CJ. Our walks home from school are just about the best times in my day, eating a snack, listening to them relate random events that happened, asking questions, re-connecting. But the instant we walk through the front door, the happy mood disintegrates, usually in dramatic form. I’d forgotten about that. Considering that this is my fourth year of walking through that front door, you’d think I’d have some solid plan in place to counteract what is obviously just plain difficulty making the transition from school to home. But apparently I don’t; or if I did, I’ve forgotten it.

Suggestions welcome.

As soon as we were through that door, AB showed no signs of being worn out by her day, but A seemed utterly spent, his inner resources exhausted, unable to cope with the smallest problem (being offered the “wrong” flavour of popsicle fell just a hair shy of the end of the world). Tantrums at age seven? Not so attractive.

Why oh why are transitions, large and small, so hard?

This morning I asked AB if she’d seen her brother at recess (a new phenomenon this year), and she said yes, but that every time she’d gotten close to him, he would run away. She was very matter-of-fact about this and said she thought it was probably because he was embarrassed. She added that recess was a little scary at first (darn right it is–my stomach churns even now to think of being loosed into the anarchy of several hundred kids racing virtually unsupervised around the huge schoolyard), but said she’d soon made a new friend to play with and then she felt better.

Missed my quiet time today, and hope I’ve got the constitution to hang out with my sibs this eve. I’m only 17 months older than the next in line (there are five of us total), but at times feel positively elderly attempting to keep up at the Bond. Actually, I don’t even attempt to keep up, just try not to drift too far behind, stumping after them with my walker and chirruping on deafly while proferring photos of the grandkids … er, okay, I’m jumping ahead a couple of decades, but you get the picture.

First Day of School
The Good and the Trying

1 Comment

  1. Kathleen Molloy

    Yesterday I picked up our eldest from her first day of school and after a distracted hug (she couldn’t drag herself away from the after-school daycare games) she relented and confessed “Mommy, you know my heart is big for you but I didn’t miss you today; I had too much fun.”

    When I got home Nana called to see how the First Day went and I replied “Oh, I did okay. Didn’t cry.” Of course she wasn’t asking after me. But then she told me that when she dropped me off on my first day she bawled all the way home. Naturally, thinking of my mom bawling caused the tears to stream and I was soon bawling.

    Does it get easier when you send #2 off?

    Kathleen Molloy, author – Dining with Death


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