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All day WOW

To those who are familiar with my family, it comes as no surprise to hear that Ethan, my energetic, full-of-life-and-his-own-direction five-year-old is yet again in trouble for one reason or another. He has a hard time being a “first-time listener,” and is a boundary-pusher. He has trouble controlling his body and his impulses, and we are constantly “on” him for one thing or another. He is a very, very smart boy, and the consensus among his former teachers (and his parents) is that while his intelligence is way up “here,” his emotional level is still very much at the five-year-old level, and his brain has trouble reconciling the two. He is still working out how to emotionally handle his smarts.

So it would manifest with larger-than-life physical action, or loud-mouthed busybody talk, or not listening to the rules of those in charge. At preschool, he would often be seen, while with his peers, assuming a leadership position and directing, so to speak, the play of the yard. Leadership is, of course, a great attribute, but sometimes it can go too far. Every day after school I would pick him up and ask my usual question, “Ethan, how was school today?” The responses would vary from the sigh-of-relief-inducing, “GREAT! I didn’t get ANY time-outs,” to the slightly bummed-out, “Well, I had to get talked to during naptime but everything else was great,” to those times when I didn’t have to ask the question at all because the note attached to his lunch box already gave me the answer.

His last month of preschool seemed to go pretty well. Only once was I given a less-than-acceptable report of the day, and even then, the infraction was minor. Behavior at home was on and off.

Today was Ethan’s first day in Kindergarten. After three years of seeing our preschool ‘family’ every day, we are now entering a whole new chapter of life. Ethan is now part of a large school system, and that frankly scares the heck out of me. I am all at once thrilled, terrified, worried, overjoyed, and hopeful for my not-so-little-anymore boy. Will his teacher (first impression: fabulous) recognize and encourage his unique brain? Will he be able to sit still? Will he be able to control his body and his mouth? Will this school be the right place for him to flourish?

I have high hopes for the answer to that last question. The school is brand-spanking new. So new that this morning’s drop-off — new for everyone — took three times as long as it should have, because it has never been done before. So new that the library doesn’t yet have any books. Ethan will have the distinct honor of being in the first class to go through all seven years at his school. That’s pretty cool. He will help shape the school. But will the school help shape him?

I think so. I hope so.

After dinner tonight, Ethan said:

Mommy, Daddy, I forgot to tell you! There’s an Oops chart at school, and everyone starts at “Good Day,” which means you’re having a good day. There is “Oops” and that means you’re having a bad time, and then there is “Wow” which means really really good. And then I had a sharp pencil but another kid didn’t and so I gave my pencil for him and I got moved to “Wow” on the chart.

And I stayed at “Wow” ALL DAY!



  1. Grandma says:

    And I add my “WOW” to yours! I look forward to hearing more about Ethan’s adjustment and his work at his new school. It is so exciting. Can I go online and see the school’s calendar so I know when he has days off for holidays,etc.? I want to plan a trip in the fall to see all of you. Much love, G