Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Whose transition is it?

Yesterday was K's first day of school. Actually, it was just his first hour, because where he goes, they transition kids into the classroom in smaller increments. Brilliant, I thought. K will get to have a little more time each day to get used to going to school.

He's been without us for a long time 3-4 days a week, so this shouldn't be that weird or disconcerting, right?

But the transition isn't really about "school" or "new." It's about the fact that basically, his primary care people have been biologically related to him (except for one-off days) since his birth. And this begins a life of more routine.

And as I'm realizing why this is a "bigger" deal, it's because the big deal is for me (and J too!). We are going through a transition as much as K is, if not more in many ways.

Starting school means there's a clear drop-off and pick-up time, there are clear responsibilities for us to take care of each day (lunch, coat, the right clothes, etc.) and that's totally new for us! We can't shuffle him out in pajamas (nor, can we drop him off at school in our own pajamas!). We can't be late, we can't drop off in a poopy diaper (or a diaper at all), we can't ask the guide to take care of his GF food needs because we didn't go grocery shopping, we can't have K be dropped off by his guide just because of a car snafu. Many different things will have to change and that's something we need to get used to, too.

Also, K now has these relationships with other people that aren't in our family unit, or even in our friend circle. He goes to school, has a separate life that we can't capture on camera, and then we just get to ask basic questions...we don't get to go over it at night, after we put him down and catch up as parents. We can look at the notes his guide took while at school, but without the visuals from one of us, there's not much to talk about. It feels weird, I guess.

So the letting go isn't just about our baby going to school. It's about how we now have a new orientation around our days, who hangs with K, and how we feel about it. To be fair, K is handling it pretty well so far. We are still adjusting.


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