So the first week of Ava’s repeat of Grade R has been done. I won’t lie. It’s been tough, not just for Ava but for us, her parents too. This will be a tough transition for her and she is struggling, to understand why she’s staying back, to find a reason for it and to come to terms with making new friends and having her old friends in a different grade, in school uniform and in a separate building from her.
On the first day, my fearless child, grabbed my hand as we were walking in and kept repeating: “Mommy I’m scared!”
She woke up on the second morning and instantly burst into tears. Telling us she didn’t want to go, that she had no friends, no one to play with and that she felt very left out with her friends being in the other building and her alone with a group of strangers.
On the 4th day she got angry and her anger was directed at me. She screamed and yelled at me because we’ve also taken her out of aftercare and that’s the only time she got to play with her friends because she never saw them during the school day anymore.
On the fifth day she said it was unfair, that everyone had lied to her and told her she had to be 7 to go to Grade 1 but that Emma-Lee (her friend from last year) is still 6 and only turning 7 in February (this was after we got invited to Emma-Lee’s party next month). She doesn’t understand that she is. in some cases, 11 months younger than the kids now in Grade 1.
There have been a lot of tears. A lot of hurt and confusion and one little shit that laughed at her (he can count himself lucky Walter was there to witness it and not me, because this Mama Bear would have taken him down at the knees!)
In my heart I know we’ve made the right decision for her, but I have second guessed this decision every time I look at this precious child and see the hurt and confusion in her eyes.
I want to make life easy for her, but that’s not realistic and it’s not life is it?
I made a positive affirmation poster for her and printed a small copy of it to keep in her school bag. My child, she has the heart and spirit of a lion and I want to remind her to not be fearful but to roar every day. Roar in the face of those who make fun of her, roar in the face of adversity, roar in defiance of her circumstance. To stand bravely and courageously and face the tough challenges. Stare down the fear and keep moving forward. She loves it of course, lions are her favorite animals after all and every morning when we leave for school, we repeat:
You are brave!
You are strong!
You are courageous!
You are smart!
You can do this!
You’ve got this Babe, now roar!
And I’ll sit in the corner and lick my wounds while you’re not looking!