It started with a ……gum shield?

So far, the transition from Primary to Secondary had been plain sailing. Son had settled in well, made new friends, hadn’t got lost (much) and seemed quite happy. Until this morning…….why do these things always happen when you are in a rush or have to be somewhere at a certain time? Today, I needed to be at work on time because it’s assembly day and I needed to take my tutor groups register. Today was also the day when my son’s emotions, tiredness and feelings of being overwhelmed decided to come to the surface-all at once.
It started with a………gum shield! Desperate to play rugby, my DS got up early this morning to boil up this lovely, brightly coloured piece of rubbery stuff so that he could mould it around his beautiful teeth in preparation for rugby training this afternoon. On first attempt, he heaved but he boiled it again and prepared to give it another shot. Round two lasted a few seconds longer, but by round three he was gagging! I could see him getting more and more frustrated and tried to encourage him to leave it, explaining that he probably wouldn’t need it the first time anyway. Well, at first it was a trickle, then proper tears and finally full blown sobs. It started with the gum shield, then he was hot ( worked himself into a state ) and then he didn’t feel well and didn’t think he could manage school.
At this point, you are torn between caring for you son who has bravely entered the big wide world of Secondary school, worrying about what work will say if you phone them and say you can’t come in after seven weeks off or giving your child some tough love because you know it’s the right thing to do!
In my head, I knew he was just tired and that everything seemed ten times worse than it was. But my heart was telling me that he needed a big hug and some downtime. Cycling three miles a day when you used to have a three hundred metre walk to school is a big change. Couple this with a new environment, making new friends and lots of homework every night, and you know as a Mum that it’s going to have an impact on them.
So what did I do? Well, we sat and had the hug and we discussed the issues. I calmed him down and he composed himself. I gave him the choice- did he feel ok to go to school? Could he manage to get through the day knowing that he could come home, chill out and have an early night? Now at this point, I know some of you are probably thinking that I am mad to even give my son a choice….but that’s where you are wrong. You see, I know my son and I know that he will always endeavour to make the right decision. He wiped his eyes, washed his face and told me that he wanted to goto school. He told me that the bike ride and the fresh air would probably make him feel better.
He sent me a text to let me know he had arrived at school and was ok. He text me at break to let me know that the morning had been good and he felt better. But when he sent a text at lunch, he said he was tired. I told him we would have his favourite tea and an early night….he sent back :~). My son doesn’t text me often, usually just to ask me if he can go to a friends, or pop to the shop on the way home. Today he needed my support. Yes, it broke my heart to see him upset and going off to school, and yes I was late for work, but today my son learnt a valuable lesson. He learnt to persevere. He also knows that I am there for him, and our little text messages through the day got him through it.
What has today taught me? That I have an amazing son that I am really proud of……a boy who won’t give up at the first hurdle. As a mother I couldn’t ask for anything more!


8 responses

  1. I always found that my children needed me more in their first year at secondary school than they did starting at 5, in a different way of course. Its a huge scary step for them all and as you say they still tire very easily. sounds to me like the 2 of you have a great relationship and you have shown him he comes first regardless.

      • I think the role gets harder. At 3,4,5 they are wee enough to tuck under your arm and take away from any situation, and you defo know best. At 12,14,16 they have to become independent and you dont always like what they do but you have to know when to keep your opinions to yourself and hope they dont get hurt too much emotionally or physically

      • That’s very sound advice…’s hard to stand back and let them make their own mistakes, but sometimes it’s the best way for them to learn! My Dad always told me what to do, how I should think, who I should like etc. I don’t want my kids to have parents that push them into opinions and decisions, but sometimes it is hard!

  2. That brought a little tear to my eye. My son has just started secondary school too and so far it has gone brilliantly, but this has just reminded me not to be complacent and to continue supporting him even though things seem to be going well. Glad it worked out for him. Found you through tots100 willy-nilly btw.

  3. It’s tough isn’t it Sarah! I think we just have to make sure that they know that we are there. I always try to encourage my children to talk about their day at school, I think this is why he was open about how he was feeling. Glad you son has made such a good start.
    I’m new to blogging so it’s helpful to know how you found me!!!

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