As Ryder’s Kindergarten year is coming to a close, I’m an emotion mess. This year, school has been extremely difficult and challenging for him. I think so much goes on during this important beginner year, that we sort of lost our boy somewhere in the middle. His behavior has been extremely hard to manage, which has now trickled down to his sister. We enrolled him in tutoring to help with the struggles as well as had several meetings with his teachers to try to find out where this is all stemming from. His troubles have not only been with reading and writing, but also staying focused as well as his self confidence. He’s been breaking down a lot when it comes to anything related to school.
Last week, I ran into one of my mom friends from our neighborhood. It’s probably been about 6 months or so since I’ve seen her, let alone both of her children. It was so lovely to catch up and I couldn’t believe how much time had actually gone by since we connected. I left her feeling so upset about how the mom community I once had, is now gone. We’ve all moved in different directions. For the first three years of Ryder’s life, my mommy friends and our kids would basically see each other every single day. We had playgroups organized weekly and even if we didn’t meet for them, we still would see one another at the grocery store or playground. Sadly, those days are long gone. Last year really started the shift, the change. We lost a few close friends to the burbs, this is something I know has definitely affected Ryder. He still talks about those friends as if we still see them everyday. We also commuted Ryder to the West Village last year for school and that’s when most of our amazing group all went separate ways. It’s amazing how we all live in the same neighborhood, yet are broken up by 4-5 schools.
I miss the days when the biggest decision was which playground we would meet up at. The kids would play endlessly and that was it. It was simple. I had my blog during this time, but it was manageable to do during the nighttime hours, when I didn’t need a babysitter, but I have deadlines now. I remember when the biggest battle was trying to get him to nap after a long hot summer morning in the playground. I would think wow this is tough, but comparing to what we are faced with now, that was peanuts.
I know when you are in the thick of it, these small battles seem to feel like wars, but that was when things were simple, easy, innocent. There were no battles for not doing your homework, or rushing around to make it out the door on time, or keeping a separate calendar for just school related events, or playdates that just happened and weren’t scheduled. And there also wasn’t a really strong personality of defiance.
Jason and I are trying to stay positive about the situation and are now seeking a behavioral therapist for Ryder. But I am just feeling completely broken down over this. Things are that bad. To see your child struggling as well as saying things you hope you would never hear your child say, is completely devastating and heartbreaking. As much as I think he will snap out of this phase, I can’t help but think we have a long road ahead of us. I guess I’m just feeling a bit defeated these days and blame myself because things definitely have changed….my work, our family dynamic of 5, and things that were a norm for Ryder the first 3-4 years of his life, are not now.
On a brighter note, here is to summer break, maybe this time off will be much needed and therapeutic for all of us. I just hope that I eventually get my sweet, loving, and caring baby boy I once knew back!