In less than 2 weeks my oldest will be going off to intermediate school. I'm starting to get nervous. I am dreading the possibility of getting phone calls from the school telling me that he's having a hard time. I have heard wonderful things about the staff but I'm still nervous. The principal said all the right things at parent orientation. He really seems to be on the right page with kids and helping them solve problems versus just punishing kids for having a hard time. I'm still nervous. What if his teachers don't see the real him? What if they don't see the creativity and wonderful mind that is sometimes hidden behind intense emotions and walls he builds up to keep people at a distance because he doesn't trust them to be kind and understanding.
My son had such a great relationship with the counselor at his elementary school. He was his “safe person” if things were going badly. My son knew that his counselor understood him and that he was “on his side”. He knew he was valued and appreciated. This did not happen overnight. His counselor worked hard to develop that relationship with him. He was truly a blessing to us. Every child that struggles should be blessed with such a wonderful advocate at their school.
Will we be so lucky again? Our elementary school counselor has already picked my son's new “safe person” at his new school, the assistant principal. He arranged a time for him to meet my son in a situation that my son didn't necessarily know was set up for this reason. I have been told by several people that know both my son and the assist. principal that they are a good fit. That makes me feel better. I am more nervous about the teachers. I don't know anything about them. I still don't know who they will be, so I can't even ask for experiences from other kids and parents. I just wish it were possible for my son (and any kids that really struggle) to be able to meet his teachers outside of school so that they can get to know each other just a bit before all the stress that comes into the school day.
When you have a typical child, I know parents still worry, but it is a more intense concern when you have a child that struggles with things his typical peers do not struggle with. My younger son is more resilient and will do fine with any of the teachers at our school. I don't worry about him making friends. I don't worry about him on the playground, bus or at lunch. I only worry that he will like his teacher enough to do his best without having too much anxiety.
I know we have done all that we can do to prepare our son for this new adventure. I know the only way to let go of this stress and anxiety is to give it to God. I know that my son will be fine, I know God has wonderful things planned for him, I have had many conversations with God asking him to lead me to do whatever it is I need to do and to take away my stress and worry. I still have moments where I get stressed out, but I try to remember that God is in control and I just need to breathe and give it to God.