Monday, August 24, 2009
Today was Liam's first day at school. Perhaps the most telling part of the day came when Matt woke Liam up at 6:20 in the morning. "Time to get up," said Matt. "Are you sure," asked Liam.
Getting to school on time is the greatest challenge of these new days of school. McNeil Canyon is a 40 minute drive away, and starts at 7:50 a.m. I wanted to be there a few minutes early for the first day, so we set out at 6:50 a.m. It turned out not to take us quite as long as I thought. We were the second or third ones there.
Liam was fine with the whole thing - to the untrained eye. He marched right in the door, gave the principal a high five, and his new teacher, Mrs. Dee, a big hug. He went into the gym with Mo and played a game, never even glancing back. But I saw the fidgitty stuff of a nervous guy.
Even so, Matt and Thea and I headed out, and I was back in town long before anyone shows up at the library to let me in. Good stuff. I did a couple of freelance projects at two sisters, then headed to work.
At the end of the day, I went to pick Liam up. Mo said he'd had a bit of a rollercoaster of a day - a few tears, but nothing too dramatic. I wasn't surprised, every new encounter seems to be that way for Liam. I'll bet by the end of the week he's in love with the whole scene.
So of course I asked him on the ride home how his day was. After we got through the nuts and bolts, he told me the following story.
"But one part of the day was NOT good. There was another boy named Liam, and he thought his name was my name, so he just pushed me out of the way and grabbed my name tag and flipped it around. The boy did not like me. He thought I was stupid. I could tell because of the way he closed his eyes and walked right past me and pushed me."
"Wow, did you tell anyone?"
"I did and Mrs. Dee said she saw the whole thing but she was just waiting to see what would happen," he said. "She and I went right down to the principal's office and called his mother and his mother came and got him and then he went to dinner and didn't have any supper."
"Hmm, Liam, is this a real story or something you imagined?"
"It was real ....." pause ...." well, maybe not. Maybe it was something I dreamed last night before I went to school."
And yet, I'm pretty sure there was something in there somewhere that was true, but possibly not at McNeil Canyon. There was another Liam at Kachemak Kids, one that our Liam said was never friendly to him. So maybe there was anxiety brewing about similar situations at this school. Who knows. But he sure had me going for a while there. Yikes!
Long and short of it, Liam knows 9 of the 18 kids in his class, and it sounds like they had a pretty good time, although I can only imagine how tricky it would be as a preschool teacher to have a whole group of kids who know each other and try to actually get a word in edgewise.
One day down, a zillion more to go. And tomorrow, Liam says, he wants to ride on the bus. Yikes!
Thea hasn't nursed in 3 days. I think we are in the home stretch. Bring on the Coffee Crisps.