Yesterday was Balthazar’s first day of school. It started early that morning and the whole family was up for the affair. We drove him in and walked him to his class. It’s one of those “big steps” in a child’s life. I am excited about the idea of him becoming independent and beginning his formal education. He’s growing up and I look forward to all the things we’ll do together in the years to come. Amy, on the other hand, has a distinctly different take on her little baby’s first steps in the big world. Her experience was miserable as a child, and didn’t apparently get much better in later years. She hated school, and she doesn’t want Balthazar to have a hard time either. Balthazar began his journey into the world with a brave heart. I was proud of him for being so courageous in the face of the unknown – I had very few worries.
After school, Balthazar was to take a bus over to his after-school care with some friends – apparently more like 20. We knew it was a lot to manage in one day, so we agreed to pick him up early from there. He barely managed to get out some vague details about his day before he passed out completely in his car seat. The guy was worn flat-out by his adventures. It turns out his day was a mixture of fear and fun. We weren’t able to convey the amount of time he’d spend at school, though technically it was less than what he spent in pre-K and after-school before. He got scared and cried a little bit early in the day. After some lunch and recess time, it sounded like he came to better terms with it.
As parents, we hate to know that our child was upset and afraid. You’re completely helpless when they’re away and having these feelings. I guess that’s what it is that parents really get upset over when their child gains some independence. You really feel the need to continue helping them and holding their hands when obstacles arrive, but you just have to let them make a go at it themselves. You do everything you can to ensure that they’re going to do good in the world and that they’ll have every manner of protection at their disposal, then you send them out the door to see how you did. It surprised me a lot that he had an emotional break-down at school. Not that that’s unordinary by any means, I just thought that he would have such a great time.
Today is Friday and he’s off on his second day at school. As a testament to his courage, he said yesterday that he wanted to go again. Even though there were some rough spots to contend with, Balthazar has stood back up to give it another try. I believe that he’ll have done much better this time, and he may even begin doing the things that we all loved at school; making friends.