Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I've never felt more lost as a parent.

When my son started school, I expected that certain behaviors might become an issue. He's a very shy kid. He withdraws when he doesn't understand something. I expected that, if anything, he'd be the kid who stood on the wall, waiting for someone to invite him to play with them.

This is not what has happened. He's been hitting. He's gone to the principal's office a few times. We've had meetings with his teachers.

I don't know what's happening. I think there are several phases in parenthood where a dad just goes, I don't know what's happening with this kid. Right now is one of those phases.

I think a lot of it is anxiety, and it's anxiety that manifests by him acting out against other kids. Which is a crappy way to act out, I admit, but it's coming from anxiety, not him being a maniac serial killer.

He's still our sweet little boy. He still skips down the sidewalk, he still sings to himself in his bedroom, he still has little conversations with his stuffed animals when we're not looking.

But at school, he's a wilder, more out of control little boy. Is it us? Is it something happening at school? Is it the sudden shift, from a daycare he attended for years to a new school with all new friends? Are we failing as parents, or is his school failing him? Or is it some third option? Not sure.

But it's bewildering, and it's frustrating as hell. I hate the feeling that each day, something's going to happen. I pray each morning - yes, I say a prayer to the Lord above - that he has a good day. A good day right now means he keeps his hands to himself, he doesn't hit other kids, doesn't kick them, doesn't trip them in the hallway. I wanted to be hearing about the books he was reading, the kids he was befriending, the awesome things he was learning. Instead, the reports I'm getting are about which kid hit him first and how he responded. I hate this. I know someday we will move past this period, and we will look back at this as ancient history. I want that moment to be today. I want this to be over.

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