The Rest of the Story - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

The Rest of the Story

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Today's the first day of school for our baby. Wow. Macy's done well most of the day and when we were heading off to school I saw her first real sense of concern and worry. As I pulling out of the driveway she said to me, "I'm not sure I want to go..." I was thinking, oh I know exactly what you mean and I had a little flashback of my first day of school. I almost said "it will be fine..." but then I remembered a friend who is a family counselor who had shared that it's not such a great idea to tell kids how they feel, or should feel, and not to belittle their anxiety. So at the last moment I changed by response to "Why's that?" Macy said "I just don't know," and as much as that was a vague answer it also spoke volumes--she was nervous and probably couldn't quite understand why. I took the cautious route and said "It might be great. Let's go see." and then I changed the subject to talk about a funny thing the cat had done this morning.

Luckily the school is less than five minutes away so we were there before there was any more time for her to work up her anxiety. She was pretty upbeat as we entered the school and I was chit-chatting with her while silently repeating a little mantra to myself "it's going to go well...it's going to be just fine... "

As we approached her classroom I felt her tug back and stop. I saw her nerves and the tears were starting to well up in her eyes. I wasn't sure what to do but it felt like one of those moments where if I say the 'right' thing she would find her courage and start walking again, and if I blundered it the tears would start. I wasn't sure what to say but decided to just speak from my heart, so I bent down, looked into her beautiful eyes and said "Macy, you are a smart, funny, beautiful girl and your nice to other people--you're going to make friends and I think you're going to like school. Let's give it a chance, OK?"

That must have passed her sniff test because she gave me a little smile and when I said "lets go into class," she started walking again.

She picked out a place to sit and the teacher gave her a sheet of paper and some instructions on what she wanted her to write-busy work I'm assuming to get them focused and I was so thankful. I gave her some more encouraging words and told her I would see her in just a few hours. She grabbed my arm again and I could tell she was about two heartbeats away from asking me to stay so I quickly said "I can't wait to hear about your day when I pick you up so be ready to tell me all about it OK?" I gave her a kiss and headed out. I looked back after I left the room and she had turned back to her paper and seemed to be all right.

I walked out of the school with a little smile on my face thinking about our little baby who was now in SCHOOL. As I was driving away I stated to cry but I wasn't out of sadness. If I had to put the emotion into words I would say I was excited for her. Excited for all the new experiences she's going to have. I only cried halfway home...that's considered a success right?!

When I picked her up less than three hours later she was excited and happy. I suggested we celebrate her first day with ice cream and that got her really excited. As we were driving to Dairy Queen I held myself back from quizzing her and managed to ask in a calm voice "How was your day?" to which she replied "Tell you what mom...I know you want to hear about school so when we get to the ice cream store I'll tell you about it, OK...you can wait that long, right?" Ah, a dose of my own medicine. Kids were good for serving that up! When we got settled into a booth with our treats she shared a few stories and was smiling and laughing. I realized as she was talking that it did, in fact, go "just fine" and it was a pretty great feeling to share in that experience with her and to know she felt successful. Whew!

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