September 16th was Alexander’s first day of school. It is a year round weekend Chinese learning program and we think it will be a good transition for Alexander before exposing him to longer school hours, plus he can learn more Chinese along the way. Since we registered a bit late, we had only 1 week before the school started to mentally prepare Alexander to the school idea. We told him that now he getting a big boy so he will go to school just like many of his friends; that daddy and momma and Ethan can’t stay in the classroom with him but will pick him up when it’s time to say bye-bye to teachers and friends; that if he needs to go potty at school he has to do it on his own without any help… etc. Alexander was OK with what was told but I was still a little concerned about his reaction when the day came. The program started from 9 to 11am, so Richard and I were up that day 7ish am (earlier than weekday schedule!) in order to get everyone changed and fed and ready to go by 8:30am.
We parked our minivan in front of the school on the street. Knowing Alexander’s personality and also learning from his schooling experience in Malaysia, we purposely arrived early so he got some time to be familiar with the environment. Richard and Ethan stayed in the minivan while Alexander and I went inside. At this point Alexander is still in pretty good mood, but as soon as we were greeted by the principal and teachers Alexander started to “glue” to me. I decided to bring him to the bulletin board that has all kinds of chinese learning posters and he loosen up a little. More students and parents flew in and he got attached to me again– wanted to sit on my lap. While the principal was giving a speech during the orientation Alexander asked to see those educational posters again, and later sat by himself (next to me) and even clapped his hands after the speech. I was a little relief. Later, we followed his teacher to the classroom. While the teacher was sorting things out, Alexander was walking around inside the classroom and even played a little fooseball. He answered to the teacher when being asked about his Chinese name. Minutes after observing all these good signs I decided it’s time for me to go, so I told Alexander that momma has to go back and will pick him up after school. He was silent… wasn’t sure if he was OK with me leaving him alone. As I was closing the classroom door, I saw him still seated with his head turning towards me, watching me leaving. No crying… I was so glad! We were there early too to pick him up. The teacher said he was OK the whole time. He was excited to see us and keep wanting to hold on to his school backpack that has new text books inside.
All and all, it was a GOOD first day of school for Alexander. Remembering the schooling experience in Malaysia, it wan’t as smooth and was quite frustrating for him and myself. My little Alexander is growing up and is ready for school now. I have mixed feelings for that… I love you Alexander and I am very proud of you!