What will he learn from the big kids on the bus?
Will his teacher care for him as much as his Kindergarten teacher did?
Who IS his teacher?
Who in their right mind thought it was appropriate for a six year old to leave their mother for 8 hours a day?
All of this stems from the realization that he will be away from me more than he will be with me during the day.
If you are at all familiar with this blog, you know that I do not suffer from a delusion that life is simple and smooth when all the kids are home. I know from other hearing other mothers that it is kind of nice to have a little extra time in the day to devote to the other children - to be able to run an errand and not worry about getting home in time to get a kid on or off the bus within a two hour time limit. I know in my heart of hearts that Walker likes the structure of school and like me, enjoys the academic time and like his father, enjoys the social time. I know that teachers are wonderful people and most of them are in the profession for the right reasons. They will not only teach my children, but care for them and show them kindness and empathy and be sensitive to their little souls.
It's just scary to think that he will be gone so long without me there to supervise and protect him. Walker is my sensitive child. Maybe I'm a little hyper-sensitive to this because I was allegedly a "sensitive" child. Except when my family refers to me as sensitive, I don't get the feeling that they found it as heart wrenching and endearing as I do when I say it about Walker. They refer to it as if it was a fault. I don't see it that way so much with Walker. Sure, being sensitive has its drawbacks, but it also puts you in tune with things that other people don't notice.
For instance, last night was the 4H dance at the Butler Farm Show. I could see that Walker wanted to dance and he just kept wandering around the dance floor hoping to get integrated somehow. Luckily, another lovely lady happened to be there and she asked Walker to dance with her and her friends. Walker was in heaven when Ms. Stacy had him join her on the floor.
He was so excited. Not only because Walker has a thing for older girls, but because someone included him. Walker is usually very brave and social, but in situations like this, he becomes shy and awkward.
He had a great time dancing with those lovely ladies and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for being so kind. And I thank their parents for teaching them to be inclusive to the little kids too. I hope that my parenting allows my children to be so generous.
Unfortunately, I still have some work to do. Despite my best lecture about being a gentleman and being kind to the girls, Walker had some trouble finding his rhythm with one of his little friends. Miss Maggie (not his sister) came to the dance hell-bent on dancing with Walker. Her mom told me she had been telling her all day that she was going to go the the dance so she could dance with Walker. When that slow song came on, she put him in a choke hold so tight, no one was cutting in.
Walker didn't take it so well. I had a hard time getting good pictures of it because it was so dark in the tent and I was shooting one handed so I couldn't manipulate my camera settings, but the above pictures show Walker's extreme joy at being manhandled by little Maggie. In the photo on the left, Maggie is attempting to do some "Dancing with The Stars" type spins. In the second photo, well, I'm not at all sure what is going on, but he just looks miserable, doesn't he? I'm betting part of him wanted to dance with Ms. Stacy again, and part of him was embarrassed by the extreme affection Maggie was showing him. My guess is that he was torn because he knew he couldn't show her blatant disrespect by telling Maggie he didn't want to dance, but he wanted to make it known to Ms. Stacy that he was available for future dances if she was interested. As soon as that slow dance was over, Walker asked to go home. We walked over to a nearby bench and talked about how it is important for a gentleman to be kind to all the ladies, and that it is OK to dance with lots of girls and be kind to them as their friend. We talked about how some girls don't get asked to dance and that how it makes them feel good when a nice young gentleman asks them to dance - it doesn't meant you have to like them as anything more than a friend, etc.
I don't know how much of it is sinking in, but my hope is that by the time he's a teen, he has incorporated my lectures and is a kind gentleman who will treat the ladies with respect and thoughtfulness and that he will find pleasure in doing so.
After all, he may be my only hope. So far the only signs of sensitivity the other children show is the injustice of them not getting their own way. I guess my first lesson with them will be empathy.