Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I am not sure why I forget that change and disruption in our schedules can be so difficult until I am just in the thick of it. We had 6 weeks together of travel, family fun and bonding. I started back to work and Dylan started back to school mid August. Tori started back to school on the 16th and also a new after school care program. Things went well the first week; she enjoyed school and seeing friends again. The weekend came and things have been well, “out of sorts”. She somewhat manifests transitions through a display of anxiety and a need to control her environment. With this, the strong willed child emerges; the child that I forget about when things are in sync and we have a good rhythm going. Yes, the one that tries to grab me by my toenails and rake me slowly over the coals. Time out for her is time out for me right? Let’s just say I had lots of time outs over the weekend and most of Monday evening. Of course I become very introspective, trying to figure out what in the world is going on and trying desperately to relate. Usually, about day three or four of this beat down, I suddenly piece it together and become enlightened about the changes and disruptions that are going on. Not sure why I need that “a-ha” moment every time. One would think I would just get it by now and be better prepared to deal. I suppose I have hopes that the “out of sorts” episodes have passed, that security is well established and no longer an issue. Someday, for sure, I still have great confidence in that. And really every day is a continuum in moving forward and growing, all of us growing.

So here is where the normalcy comes in, actually with the observance of a complete and total meltdown from another child….strange, I know. I was driving Tori to school this morning. At drop off there is such a huge amount of parents all doing the same thing, sending their kids off to school for the day. Cars line up on the street along the side of the school and drop off, no parking, just drop off and your child proceeds to the front gates of the school.

I am reminded that last year for the first four weeks, we could not do this. I walked her to a teacher to hand her off because she would cry, yes for four weeks. It was so frustrating, but what really did not help with that is she would bring the other moms to tears as they stood outside the kindergarten gate seeing their children off. Oh my gosh! Yes it was heart wrenching, I worried most of the day about her. But at times, I have got to be honest, wild expletive’s flew around in my head as I turned and walked away, reminding myself that she will be fine and also being assured by the teacher that shortly after I left her sight she was over it and was just fine. This year, none of that, I drop off, put her backpack on her back, kiss her, say “I love you” and away she goes. Progress, yes, celebrate progress! I am thankful there has been not even the slightest hint of that this year.

When I dropped off Tori today there was a white SUV in front of me in this huge line of cars. I could see some activity going on in the car and the profile of the mom in the side view mirror, sensing it was not such a great morning for those in the car in front of me. The car stops to unload its passenger and I proceed to do the same. Suddenly, the side door of the SUV is opened and a pink backpack is abruptly thrown out of the car and onto the sidewalk. Soon to follow the backpack is a lunch box, also thrown out of the car. Seconds later a little girl appears from the SUV, gathering her items on the sidewalk. The mom is very curtly saying, “Get your stuff and go to class!” And the child, “Mom, I don’t want to go to school! Mom, don’t leave me, I don’t want to go!” The mom pulls away and begins to drive off and the child begins to reluctantly walk to class. Suddenly, the SUV makes a U-turn and pulls over on the other side of the road. Apparently concerned and wants to make sure her child proceeds. I am trying to get Tori out of the car, but also distracting her from the child’s behavior. I sure don’t want her modeling this and being back to square one at drop off. The child is very aware her mom has pulled over and is watching her, so she comes back to where she was left, now just across the street from the SUV and begins the sobbing and pleading again, but with much more ferocity. With this, out the driver side window, the mom begins demanding again that her child get to class. All the while, a very meek looking older man is also observing this. I can tell he is just beside himself and disturbed that the child is so distraught. The SUV again pulls away. The child continues with her sobbing and pleading for her mom to come back and get her, the older man continues to appear very perplexed over this whole thing. At this point Tori is heading down the sidewalk to the front gates of the school and I am getting back in the car. I look in my rearview mirror and see the SUV making another U-turn and heading back to the drop off point, to her pleading, sobbing child. I proceeded to pull into traffic and drive away. I do not know the final outcome. I am sure the little girl finally made it to class, the old man moved on down the road continuing his morning stroll and I hope the mom went home and had a very large glass of wine, even if it was only 8 in the morning. ;) I suspect it may sound twisted that I found a sense of relief and inner calming with this entire episode. I chuckled as I drove away, yes, I chuckled and I went away with the thought that things in our world really are normal, quit normal actually. Every day we continue to grow. Life is good!