The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tomorrow is Vinny's first day of school. I will not be able to be there to drop him off tomorrow (Marc gets to do drop off duty that we actually have to pay for, humorously enough), so I took today off so I could at least go to his kindergarten orientation. I am glad I did. It was interesting.

His class is not in the same building as the other kindergarten classes (too many, I guess). There is no bathroom in the room like the other kinder classes have, but the teacher assured us they all end up getting to the bathroom just fine. I am not worried. They will have recess and lunch at school, which is different from when I was in kindergarten, but not really very different for Vinny, since he has been eating lunch at school since he was 18 months old.

I thought that this transition would be a piece of cake for me and for him, seeing as how he has been to a different school each year since he started preschool at 18 months (I didn't intend his preschool experience to be that way... it just ended up that way), but it was different. It is so much bigger than any preschool he has gone to, and the stakes just seem so much higher. It is like they are such big kids. Orientation did make me feel better though. His teacher suggested that we work with them on things like opening packages for lunch, because some kids get too shy to ask for help opening a package at lunch and then will just not eat. I know this is terrible to say, but it sort of made me feel better that Vinny definitely has that part down, and it was reassuring to know that the teachers recognize that they are still our little babies in so many ways.

Speaking of his teachers... her name happens to be particularly difficult for Vinny to say. Sigh...

While my other friends with new kindergarteners will send their little ones off tomorrow thinking, "Will he make friends? Will he miss me? Will he have fun," I send my son off tomorrow worrying, "Will people understand him alright? Will he get made fun of for the way he speaks? Will he end up getting embarrassed about his speech impediment and be too nervous to talk at all?"

I think I am just going to ask his teacher if he can call her "Mrs.G" since he can say the "juh" sound okay, but the "guh" sound is a whole nother ball game.

I feel for parents of special needs children, I really do.

That said... I am very excited for him. It is such a big exciting step towards growing up, and I love the little man he is becoming.

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