It was Family Week at preschool. The teacher, Ms. Z, invited parents to sign up to be a part of the class activities. I was excited to have the opportunity to see the boys in their school environment. I signed up for Story Time, from 11:10-11:30 am. I was really looking forward to reading with the kids!
We did extremely well getting out of the house that morning. By 8:30 am everyone was washed, dressed, fed and ready for take off. We had back packs (both of them, which is a whole other story) and the sun was shining after days of rain! Thank you God!!! I even remembered their homework!!
The plan was to drop the boys off and return to school later for story time. I decided to go a few minutes early to see how things go in class and "quietly" sit in the background.
Well...you know what they say, tell God your plan and He will laugh. I am sure He was having a good laugh that day because it went from bad to worse.
When I arrived it was about 15 or 20 mins before Story Time. I walked in the door and immediately Luccio spotted me. The kids were set up at tables working on drawing pictures of their families. Luccio saw me and started yelling, "Mommy!! Mommy's here!"
So much for my quiet entrance!
Thankfully Ms. Z and the other teachers, Ms. L and Ms. D, were very welcoming! They said it was fine that I arrived early and invited me to join in with the class.
Cenzo was excited for me to be at school too. I visited his table and he introduced me to his friends. He seemed like he would be fine with me hanging out and observing the happenings of the group.
But, Luccio, my Little Bear, was not so content. He was soooooo excited! He declared Art was over. Which started a domino effect and all of the kids at his table wanted to be done with art.
Ms. Z didn't miss a beat. She quickly got everyone to clean up and move on to the next task.
Ms. L led a Music activity. My boys ended up as partners and were all over the place, not listening, dancing around like goofballs, and completely off task. Ms. Z assured me they weren't usually like this and that they normally aren't paired together.
One of the reasons I picked this preschool for my boys was because the first time I walked in the room I felt a sense of comfort. Positive energy radiates from Ms. Z. And as a twin mom herself, with 4 sons, not much ruffles her.
As my boys were getting more and more hyper and further off task during Music, I felt like running from the room and hiding. Especially when Luccio was marching to his own beat. Literally. He was marching in the opposite direction of EVERYONE else.
Ms. Z said, "He loves music!"
When we went back in to the classroom for story time, Luccio completely melted down. He was crying and carrying on because he wanted to sit on my lap and he wanted to wear his back pack to story circle and he wanted to play with the toy that was in his bag. He was yelling, "Mommy!! I want Mommy!!!"
Ms. Z said, "He is so loving! He loves his Mommy."
During Story Time, Luccio stood in front of me whining and demanding to sit on my lap and see the pictures and he didn't want me to read to his friends.
I felt my pulse racing, I was overheating and thought I would pass out from the embarrassment and stress. But, his 3 teachers sat in the circle with the other students and smiled and encouraged everyone to participate in talking about the book as if Luccio wasn't having a breakdown in the center of the circle.
Ms. Z gently guided him back to his table and gave him a hug and reassured him that he was doing great. She pointed out how exciting it is to have Mommy visit school.
I sat with him and held him on my lap and thought, "My goodness, is this my child???"
I practically ran from the building when it was time for dismissal. I couldn't believe how the day had gone. I totally disrupted everything and created chaos with my mere presence. Ughhhhhh
Luckily, we ran into Ms. Z a few days later at a basketball game. She was so positive and reassuring and said that its often difficult for kids when their parents come into the class, especially the first time. She also mentioned he wasn't the only one who had a hard time when a parent visited. She told a story of another little one from class that was crying the following day when his mom visited. I felt so relieved, even though I pitied the other Mom because I knew how she must have felt.
I am so thankful that I went with my gut instinct when I chose this school for the boys. I wanted their first school experience to be positive. I wanted a teacher who would have patience and compassion. A person who would inspire them. Before school started for the year, I had mentioned to Ms. Z that Luccio had medical issues and that he may have some developmental issues. And she said, "we love them all the same." And she does!
Its important for preschoolers to learn letters, numbers and colors. But, at the end of the day I want my sons to learn to love and to be loved. And I can tell you they are learning that this year with their amazing teachers!!
During those moments of what appeared to be complete insanity with Luccio screaming and causing a scene, Ms. Z pointed out his strengths: He loves music. He loves his Mommy. He is loving!
It really made me reflect. My Little Bear IS so loving. He is such a snuggler and so animated and funny!!! He truly brings Light wherever he goes. He is a strong little boy. He was born with a hole in the back of his skull, he underwent 3 brain surgeries and 3 other minor surgeries for various ailments. He has always endured with a smile! He has recovered faster than I ever would have been able to. He never complained and it never stomped out his inner light!!
I know that most teachers don't have the time or patience to nurture each child's fullest potential. And it is much easier to see a child's faults than strengths, especially when they are strong willed and demanding. But, our family has been so blessed to have found a place where teachers appreciate that determination and strong will are strengths. These are the exact strengths that have helped Luccio to survive and succeed!! And I am so grateful that Ms. Z reminded me what an amazing son I have!