Monday, September 14, 2009

My wish-I-could-do list

In all the hustle and bustle of last week, you know, getting ready for and beginning the new school year and all, my to-do list quickly became my wish-I-could-do list. I didn't even get around to reading!

I got the kitchen floor scrubbed and washed the windows. I did do some of my painting but I'm nowhere near done. (deep sigh)

For the 10 days preceding the first day of school (FDOS) my son Kirkham was complaining of chest pains. About 4 days preceding the FDOS he started having intense stomach pain and loss of appetite. This just-so-happened to coincide with his big brother coming down with the flu and his little sister coming down with a horrible cough.

I went into emergency mode: quarantine the family, heavy fluids, buckets at bedsides, lots of paper towels, all this "just in case". On the day before the FDOS Heath had recovered fully from flu but Afton was still hacking and Kirkham couldn't do much more than lie around and sleep all day. Time to go to the doc.

Afton was quickly cleared as it was determined she was suffering from a bout of asthma. She was prescribed the necessary inhalers and given the thumbs up for the first day of school.

Kirkham was feeling a little better at the doc's office and had the doc a bit perplexed. She found nothing but suggested he go to a cardiologist for the chest pain in the next few weeks. That worried me a bit but I could handle it. He was cleared for the first day of school--that worried Kirkham a bit and--HIS SYMPTOMS REAPPEARED BY THE TIME WE GOT HOME!

Oh, now I was getting it. He was sick over the first day of middle school! I remembered feeling the same way about my first day of junior high. I coddled him a bit, got him to bed early and tried to reassure him. He wouldn't admit.

On the morning of the FDOS I got the girls off to the bus stop and walked back into the house to my boy doubled over, he wasn't sure he was going to make it. I talked him down and we came up with a plan:
He would walk into the front doors of the school. I would follow no closer than 10 feet behind him. I would not talk to him, just follow (nobody knows that I'm his mom yet you see), but he could talk to me if he needed any "back-up". I would follow him to the cafeteria where he would get his schedule and I would remain there---still making no contact with him whatsoever--until he got safely to his classroom down the hall.
We put the plan in motion but he missed the first turn to the cafeteria! I quickly blurted out "LEFT". He didn't turn to look at me but he did turn left. We continued and he missed his next turn and I did it again, "Right". Again, he didn't look just turned.

We approached the cafeteria just as the bell rang and struggled, like salmon up a creek, against the throngs of 6th graders walking to their destiny. I stayed 10 feet behind and spotted a friend ahead, my friend--ANOTHER MOM! Then I spotted a whole swarm of parents beyond. I was so happy, so reassured my son wouldn't be the only dork with mom in tow at school today.

Apparently it reassured him too as he marched into the cafeteria. I sent one of his buddies [who already had his schedule] over to guide Kirkham to the right line. Within minutes he had the pink slip of paper he needed and he was at my side smiling at me weakly. Together we looked around at the other students still lingering, we looked at their red, down cast eyes, pale green faces and shaky hands. We noted that they must be feeling the same as Kirkham. Then he realized he knew some of these faces.

He bravely picked up his courage and started to walk but before he got too far he turned, gave me a hug and said, "Mom which way do I go?"

He made it to class and through the whole day. When he got home from school he was feeling great and miraculously no longer suffering from chest pains nor stomachache.


  1. I can totally sympathize with Kirkham on this! I was TERRIFIED of my first day at middle school. I was so scared of not knowing anyone and of everyone being older than me. I didn't realize until after I got there, that all my friends from my last grade were there with me and it wasn't what I had expected at all. Good luck in 6th grade, Kirkham!

  2. This little story actually brought tears to my eyes. Not so much because it brings back old memories (which it does) but, because our little boys are growing up. Don't ya just hate that? Miss ya-no more homeschool????

  3. Even though you had already told me this the other day on the phone, my heart broke again as I re read the scenario. Poor Kirkham ! I so totally sympathize with him. Any time that I am thrown in a new situation, I always try to remember that I am not the first person to feel this way, and that by the time that I go to bed, the horror of whatever it was, will have become a distant memory. I know that doesn't help him now, but maybe a family home evening on "new situations" can help. Maybe we could even come over and "play" acting out many of the new situations that will definitely come his way. Maybe if Jayson is in on the deal, he won't feel so bad and he will know that he is not the only person to feel scared. Did he get a blessing before school? He probably did....but that is always reassuring to me and the kiddos when they start a new school year. Anyway...kiss you babies when they get back from school...It makes everything better.


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