I don't have a picture of Dylan heading off for the first day of fifth grade.
I didn't even think of it.
That is, until I got on Facebook and saw photo upon photo from other, more excited parents.
I feel sort of guilty, but I think it goes along with my whole feeling about the start of school this year.
At orientation on Tuesday night, another parent said she couldn't wait until Thursday for school to start. I told her I was dreading it.
I really am.
It was a good orientation. His main teacher seems nice and is familiar to us. He will still have one of his same teachers from last year, but we expected that.
I even (finally) have the report from Dylan's psychoeducational testing earlier this summer so if we have any issues that should at least help us to make the case for better services.
But it's so hard to shake off the trauma - yes, trauma - of last year. Last year made me hurt for my child. I got to see firsthand how our pursuit of test scores have left kids who fall outside strict parameters way behind. There was a complete and utter lack of compassion and nurturing. It was never, "Gee, Dylan seems to be having a hard time, let's figure it out." It was more like, "Dylan does not want to try and there's nothing we can do about it."
It will take a while to get over that.
I've been singing the praises of fifth grade to Dylan, hoping he cannot see through my facade. I want him to believe in himself. I want him to know that I believe in him. And that I am and will be there with him, every step of the way.
So maybe I'll take a photo tomorrow. Document what could be the beginning of a transformative year. Start off on a positive foot and in the process, maybe, set us both up for success.