Monday, April 4, 2011

Sometimes, there truly are no words.

I make my living with words. No, not blogging (still haven't heard from that publisher who thinks I can make money doing this….dammit!)…like my real, *actual* living…like with a steady paycheck and everything.

So I'm a word nerd…I like writing, I like learning new words and most importantly, I like to make sure I choose the correct words to describe a situation or feeling.

That's why this was so hard.

The 6-year-old princess started kindergarten this year and she was SO EXCITED! I mean, the early bedtime and early wake-up time was an adjustment for all of us, but things pretty much went smoothly (read about her first day here) until Thanksgiving. Honestly? I was not shocked. I loved school so I guess I'd just assumed she would, too.

And it appeared that she did. She talked about school at home, mentioned specific friends on the playground, etc.

Thanksgiving break was great…family, turkey, the usual. Then? *It* started.

And that's just the thing….I don't even know what *IT* is! I can't put a name to *it*, but I can describe it very well.

She hated school. 

She cried in the mornings. She cried most of the day at school. She cried at parent pick-up. She cried at home in the evenings.

Our lives became hell.

My beautiful, independent, out-spoken, smiley-faced girl who had attended daycare since she was 16 months old was scared of school? How is that possible?

What had happened? Was someone bullying her? Did someone hurt her or say something mean to her? Was she having difficulty learning the material? Was she not getting along with her teacher? WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON WITH MY KID????

No one had answers. No one knew anything. No one had suggestions on how to help her other than take her to the pediatrician and see about anti-anxiety meds.

Really? Anti-anxiety meds for my 6-year-old?

I don’t think so.

Ronnie and I were clueless. Our parents and older siblings with children of their own were clueless. Our pediatrician assured us she would work through it in time and that structure and routine was the way to go. Stick to the schedule, ride out the storm.

But we couldn’t. Because her fearfulness was literally eating a hole through our hearts. Four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas…I wasn’t sure she was going to make it. I actually let her stay home one day because she was so upset about going.

So over the holidays we talked. And we cried. And we vented our frustration and helplessness to one another.  And we worried about our beautiful little girl and tried to make sure she knew how loved and cherished she was.

And we decided to change schools. The team of staff at her new school was concerned and called me after the first two days of her crying at school. We met, we talked, I cried…and they assured me that she would be loved and supported through this difficult time (whatever the cause).

And finally. FINALLY. (I’m almost afraid to say it out loud…)

I think we’re on the other side of it.

She’s learning, she’s growing, she’s smiling and she’s happy.

And I can finally breathe again.

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