Tuesday, August 26, 2014

OEK Program

Being a Mom is hard. Before now I thought that sleepless nights were the hardest parts, or that having them talk back everyday was hard. Watching them grow up was the hardest. Little did I know that watching them go out into the world would literally bring me to tears; and I wouldn't know how to get over it.

Watching William get on the bus the first day was difficult. I wondered if he would make new friends since he didn't know anyone in his class. I hoped that he would remember to be polite and raise his hands in class. I questioned if he would be able to unbutton his shorts when he has to pee; or if he would be the first kid to get in trouble for throwing wood chips on the playground. Would the teacher understand that he's shy when he gets around adults, or would he have friends to read with during story time?

What I didn't anticipate was the phone call I got from his teacher yesterday. When she started talking I could hear the hesitation in her words, and it was almost like I needed to pry the words out; "Will qualifies for an all day kindergarten program called OEK. It's an early intervention program that helps kids be ready for 1st grade next year"
As a Mom, pretty much all I heard was "you're kid isn't as smart as he needs to be" "you didn't do a good enough job" "he needs more help than the other kids"
It was everything I could do to ask questions, get her opinions and then get off the phone before she could hear the tears in my voice. I hung up and immediately wanted to talk to Sean. Luckily he didn't answer because I couldn't even get words out. He called me right back and all I said was "I need to talk to you, but I can't stop crying". He came home and we talked it over with ourselves as well as with William. We all still have concerns, but now all Will knows is that he gets to have lunch at school which involves brownies...who can beat that?!
I expressed my feelings to Sean. All of the "what ifs" started coming. What if we had moved here in time to get him in preschool last year? What if I had worked harder with him over the last year or the Summer? What if he had a daycare or even karate before now that helped him with authority? and of course What if he now gets teased because he's in a "special class"?

Is he gonna resent me for this? Is he gonna be mad because he's loosing out on upwards of 4 hours of play time with friends each day? Am I gonna be able to handle it? What am I gonna do with my little man gone for 7.5 hours EVERY DAY?
But then I had to set my feelings aside (really I just shoved them down way deep...they may come back up later!) and think about what if we didn't put him in the program? Would he not be ready for 1st grade? Would he need to repeat Kindergarten?
We have given the teacher a yes to the program. Tomorrow I am going to a parent meeting that will hopefully answer any and all questions that I have, and ease any concerns that might arise. But I'm excited to see how much William grows from the program, and see his smarts and talents flourish from it.

Here's to hoping I can keep my emotions in check, and not miss him too much as he starts this new journey next week.

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