Remembering the feeling of newschoolphobia

Today as I was walking home from dropping Julian off at preschool, I thought about what next school year will look like. With Scarlett at Julian’s current preschool, and Julian moving on to a bridge Kindergarten, it will be a more complicated morning routine. (But oh, the stuff that mommyblogs are made of.)

Julian has been at his school for three years, so I am anxious about him starting a new school. What if I don’t make any friends? What if the other parents laugh at me? or my car? What if he has scary school dreams in anticipation? Will he not be able to sleep for a week before school starts? Will he protest going?

This line of thinking took me back to a memory that exemplifies to me how completely and totally devoted to me my mom was when I was growing up. I changed schools between 3rd and 4th grade. As the new school year approached, I knew that I was going to a large public school, a place literally ten times the size of my tiny private school. It was a K-12 school. Weird, I know, but it was a hippie, alternative (read: stoner) school, meaning that it would be full of kids old enough to drive, babysit and do other grown up things. I was terrified.

I remember crying about it and wishing school would never start, but I’m not sure if my mom coaxed that out of me or if I came to her and announced it. Anyhow, she called the principal of my new school, told him I was anxious, and asked if we could come visit. It was two days before school started. We went to the school and the principal walked me and my mom around. We saw the elementary classrooms and weird murals on the walls (early 80s stuff: unicorns, Bob Marley, and bubble letters).

I think we maybe also went to the bus stop where I was to be picked up each day – just to look at it. I felt somewhat better.

The first week of school was still intimidating, but at least the principal said hello to me whenever he saw me. (Thanks, Mom!)

I have always thought this was an awfully nice thing for her to have done for me. She was a single working mom who had a kid about to start a new school that week. I’m sure there were plenty of things on her to-do list.

***

I had recently been thinking that I would go to Julian’s new school and take photos of it to put into a book so that we can review the book together in the week before school starts. I will take pictures of the classrooms, the garden, the play structures, and of course, the murals. Looking at pictures in detail is very big in our house. I think he will be excited to get to school on the first day to see all the things he will have memorized– in person. I’m sure the school is prepared with summer potlucks and other events to get the new families to know each other. But I’ll do this anyway, because it’s my way of doing something for Julian that is similar to what my mom did for me, but with my own spin on it.

P.S. I probably would have been too lazy to actually do this blog post which I had been writing in my mind this morning, but Kristen and Julie gave me a little kick in the pants with their Mother’s Day themed blog blast.

P.S.2. Check out the celebrity mom auction. And no, Heather and I are not included in the celebrity moms whose stuff you can buy. And yes, Kristen and Julie suggested I tell you about it.

P.S.3. Reason #398 that I love Facebook: I was able to find a picture of my school’s wall from 1984 by searching on the name of the school. I do not know the girls in the picture.

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.

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