So they say that the first day of school is more traumatic for the parents than the kids. I'm not so sure about that; I'd say we were running about equal in the trauma department. Naturally, I was cheery and blithe on the ride in, chattering about the friends, crafts and toys in Jordan's immediate future. Scott was tense.
The pre-school classroom was a mob scene. I had ideas of hanging around for about a half hour, trying to help Jordan acclimate, but in truth I was ready to boot in about thirty seconds. Being an apple that has not fallen far from the tree, Jordan made it to the door before he was snatched up and redirected into the classroom. The swirl of children and teachers were a blur. I shook hands, watched Jordan try to melt into his father's leg so as to avoid this mortal hell. I couldn't possibly take in all this activity, this spiraling crowd, the eager and well-meaning teachers I wanted so much to impress.
Yep, that half hour plan melted down to about five minutes. I escaped the room to study the cubbyhole cabinet for Jordan's name, then I was out of options. I was ready to flee.
But first I had to tell Jordan he was staying. "We'll be back soon," I said. "Two hours." As if he had the slightest notion of what two hours is. Naturally he was hysterical.
We had been advised by the teachers to just go. My parting vision was of Jordan lunging for the door, howling at top breath, held back by Mrs. Fordan, the head teacher, who suddenly looked much too frail for the typhoon that is Jordan.
Hell, my friends, pure hell.
Of course, when we picked him up, he loved it. Wanted to go back. Had a coloring page of a bunny to show us. Talked of games and toys.
His trauma seems to have been brief. So it's true what they say--because I'm still numb with shock.