Oh, the school woes around here. My poor, sweet little girl is having the toughest time with the transition to school. I am the mom on the playground after drop-off who everyone looks at sympathetically. People I don’t know come up and hug me. Everyone knows Pia’s name and over-enthusiastically greet her. Kids come up and stare at us. Some ask “what’s wrong with her?”. Her friends come up and try to take her hand, try to hug her, but nothing seems to get through her veil of tears. This morning she woke up at 6:00 and essentially just wanted to cuddle for the 2 and a half hours before school. We managed to get her dressed, coax two bites of scrambled egg into her mouth, and brush her teeth between outbursts of tears. She went into school still sobbing and choking out “I need more cuddle time!” My heart is beyond being broken into two.
We have done ‘the kissing hand’ for quite some time, but the potency of that seems to have worn off. I needed a new trick, something more tangible. I often tell Pia that our hearts are connected by an invisible thread, so that even when we are apart we are still together in our hearts. So this morning I gave us matching “invisible thread” bracelets to wear, each with a little clear stone attached. I told her that if she misses me at school or is worried or sad, she can rub the little stone and I will feel it and send her more love or take away her worries through our invisible thread. I have no idea if this will help one bit, but I’m at a loss for how to help her infinite school sadness.
I know going off to kindergarten is hard on a lot of kids and that our situation is hardly unique. But Pia has gone through such enormous transitions in her life, and handled them with such grace, it makes me feel so inadequate that I can’t seem to ease her pain this time. Any advice for easing school woes? Or is this one of those things you just need to muddle through, let the sadness be, and hope everyone comes out stronger on the other side?