He told him what was for snack.
I remember the night perfectly. I was exiting my son’s bedroom in order to let my husband have a turn at goodnight, I overheard my son tell his dad what he had for snack at school.
For almost two years, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday this bedtime reporting was a regular thing. My husband has a gift at getting information out of our boys. He goes for simple, straightforward information.
It is his patented, just the facts approach. There are no, “how was your days”. Instead it’s: How many kids in class today? What was for snack? It’s genius really.
When they first started school, this line of questioning became such a routine that if too much time had passed at dinner, my son would ultimately ask, “don’t you want to know what was for snack?”.
We knew he loved his school.
The best part of this was that when my guy first started at preschool, he gave a retelling of snack and attendance with such enthusiasm that it was clear to anyone in the room that he adored his school and had his teachers as high on a pedestal as one can possibly go.
Then we moved during the school year, and from March to June we never heard one word about how school was. It was heartbreaking.
When we got to our new state, the preschool we enrolled him in was fine. I had no real complaints, but there was something. It was a gut feeling that I made the wrong call. I couldn’t place exactly why but I just thought this school and my boy didn’t fit.
I worried aloud to my husband who assured me the boy was fine and that we had just moved to a new state with an entirely new schedule and of course he might seem a little off. Don’t blame the school. Don’t blame yourself.
I agreed with him-mostly. But the days went on and we started to settle in to a routine and the school piece of the puzzle still seemed wrong.
Then one night, when I was worrying aloud-again, my husband said, “he never tells me about snack.”
That was it. That’s what was wrong. He didn’t hate school, but he also didn’t love it.
When I picked him up, he gladly left at the end of the day and never raced home to tell me about it. He didn’t ever ask his dad if he wanted to know what was for snack. He wasn’t unhappy, but he also wasn’t his same happy self as before.
Liking school is fine. Thinking school is fine is acceptable. Except-he used to love it. So this time, liking it actually wasn’t fine.
This isn’t about beating myself up. It is about learning to trust my gut.
This post isn’t about the mistake that I made that year. So much of parenting in those preschool days was about second guessing my decisions. Before I had kids, I was good at making decisions without looking back.
When I only had myself to consider, I was somewhat of a slash and burn decision maker. Then, when those babies came, every decision I made on became wrought with concern, and discussing and dissection and, did I mention concern.
Really, what I should have done more of is pay attention to my gut. My gut tells me when my kids don’t fit. My gut tells me when something is exactly right. My gut was on the money that same year, when I walked into the preschool I ultimately enrolled my son in for the rest of his time in preschool.
I knew instantly this was where my child should be.
That May, I walked through the doors of what I shall call Heaven for Children and I knew instantly this is where my children needed to be. It was warm and bright and everyone smiled. It smelled like paint. The bulletin board outside the office was littered with fliers.
My boy, who was with me, skipped-literally- through the halls. I enrolled him on the spot. The people in the office thought I was nuts. I told them it felt like home. I tried to convey, unsuccessfully, how overjoyed I was at finding them. For the first time since I had set foot in our new homes state, I felt like we could stay and be just fine.
I was right. I was so right. In that school not just one, but two of my kids thrived. They played and explored. The grew and gained confidence. They always felt loved.
Not only was I proud of my little men, but I was also proud of myself, for listening to my gut and making the decision that lead to the bliss they experienced for the next year.
That first night of school, my sweet boy told his dad what he had for snack. Sometimes, my decisions deserve no second guessing.
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