“If you share your pain you cut it in half, if you don’t you double it.”
My oldest son started middle school on Monday of this week. This was huge for him, for me, for his brother, our family.
For him, it meant wearing a uniform versus street clothes, leaving friends behind, changing classes, learning how to unlock a locker, taking a bus to and from (and departing on said bus at 6:55 am), attending school located in the inner city versus the posh snooty burbs, navigating a whole new world pretty much on his own.
I was terrified for him.
He is an anxious child at times and he internalizes it all. He appears fine, really fine, and then, without notice will erupt into a puddle of tears, red faced and hyperventilating. He will be embarrassed and frustrated and angry and resistant to help or any sort of comfort.
He did none of that. He was happy and excited and comfortable all week. He did his homework with ease, texted me regularly on his new and very first cell phone, and even allowed me to do his Latin homework with him. (I always wanted to learn Latin).
He is doing great with middle school and I am pleased.
His younger brother is also doing better than I expected. For his first two years in elementary school he had his brother by side. These boys are TIGHT. My oldest is quite protective of his younger brother often to the extreme. I was afraid the little guy would not take kindly to now being in school without his older brother.
He was unfazed. No sign of missing his brother, no anxiety, just the typical “see ya Mom, bye” as he left the car each morning this week.
And I worried about what?
Perhaps I worried about myself. Regular readers may recall that for the past 6 years the first day of school meant sending my sons off to school but it also meant collapsing into a puddle of tears thinking about all of my daughters school days that I missed. It meant holding back anxiety attacks like this that cause me to shake and stutter and want to run and hide. It meant days like this one too.
IT DIDN’T HAPPEN THIS YEAR!
I did not realize this until Wednesday of this week but for the first time in many years I did not cry over my daughter when I was supposed to be rejoicing over my sons!