Why are you awake? You might be asking.
Isn't the first day of school tomorrow? You may be wondering.
Why yes. Yes it is. And therein lies the problem.
Diminutive One is wide awake, eaten up with anxiety.
Though last year was better than many previous years, we still had our share of problems. You may remember the Christianity survey. Or the Suck My Balls incident.
There was also a fairly serious bully problem that I intended to write about, but never did. I decided to bypass the school and called his mother directly.
That was fun.
Thankfully, the little miscreant starts Middle School this year and he'll get his just desserts the second he sets foot on the Middle School bus. Pecking order can sometimes be a wonderful thing.
Also, Diminutive One started medication last year, which really turned out to be a blessing, but which brought with it some baggage. He's different now, and he knows it.
In short, school for Diminutive One is a place fraught with social perils, opportunities to fail, and enormous potential for embarassment and humiliation. It will never be a place that he looks upon with fondess.
So he's in his bed, tossing and turning. I can hear him worrying from my own bed down the hall. I've done all I can to comfort him. I've assured him that I'm always on his side and that whatever happens this year, we'll tackle it as a team.
But sometimes even Moms can't banish the demons of childhood, not even with the most profound badassery.
So the minutes tick by and I...can only listen as he fights a mighty battle against his own anxiety. But at least, I can be awake worrying with him.
No kid should dread school that much. No kid. Ever.
Some stuff you just can't fix and it really fucking blows.
And so, I ended up with one large-ish, but still very small ten year old boy and one exceedingly fat and somewhat mangy orange cat in bed with me. Together we danced a ballet of sleeplessness.
The cat is the only one who actually slept, I think. When he wasn't scratching and biting at his elizabethan collar in irrition.
We met his teacher today. She seems like a warm and affectionate person, but Pubescent One tells me that one of his friends had her and she yelled a lot. I know the friend in question and I can't help but think he probably deserved it.
Still, it worries me. Every year I wait with baited breath to see if we hit the teacher jackpot or if we have been saddled with the elementary school version of Adolf Hitler.
She did perceive immediately that Diminutive One was anxious, though he wasn't exhibiting any overt signs. That bodes well, I think. Also, she was the teacher for the gifted program for many years, which means she is used to dealing with kids with unusual learning styles and disorders that might make them a challenge to teach. That means she knows that kids can be brilliant and still struggle.
So I'm cautiously optimistic. But the trend seems to be that every other year Diminutive One gets a really crappy teacher. Last year he had a wonderfully young, enthusiastic and idealistic teacher last year that he adored.
Time will tell. And so, unfortunately, will my kid.