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The Buddha’s Class Placement: Adjusting to a New Reality

September 1, 2010

At my son’s school orientation yesterday, my bit o’ grief over his placement was happily interrupted.

You see, about 10 days after I wrote that post about The Buddha’s fellow traveler, I got a call telling me that “Mabel” would, indeed, be leaving my son in the dust. Sure, it was a very thoughtful move for Mabel on the part of school administrators — moving her to the next older class so that she could be with two other girls in their XY-dominated school — but still I was bummed and spent the day off and on in tears and generally wallowing in self-pity. (Though it helped that Mabel’s mom cried a bit, too, and reminded me of her fantasy that her two girls would marry my two boys.)

I knew I’d get over it in a day or so, but one thing I know about myself is that when a plan abruptly changes directions, I need a little time to get used to the new plan. In the parlance of child development types, I need time to transition.

By the time we got to school yesterday for a half-hour meeting with The Buddha’s teacher, I had my sense of humor back, though I feared any actions meant to comfort me — like the words, “It’ll be all right,” accompanied by a soft pat on the back — would bring back the waterworks.

I did get some of those expected sad-eyed “I understand” looks, and, yes, it felt nice that people at my son’s school really do understand. What I didn’t expect was at least four separate opinions that an unintended consequence of doing what was best for Mabel socially might, in fact, be the best thing for The Buddha socially, too.

Basically, they were all saying in various ways, that at the same time it’s good for Mabel to be with other girls for the first time in her Kingsbury career, it could be just as good for The Buddha to be in a class with this group of all boys.

Girls generally have been more comfortable for The Buddha because they typically are calmer, more patient and less physically demanding — all key for a shy, slightly anxious kid with significant low muscle tone.  Today, for the first time, I heard about how well this bunch of boys interacted by the end of the summer session. Something finally began to click within this group of socially challenged kids, and they were having a blast together. So without his go-to girl around, the theory goes, The Buddha’ll continue to branch out and solidify his friendships with the boys.

Right after yesterday’s orientation meeting, we went over to Mabel’s house for a playdate. The kids played together beautifully and the moms plotted a joint 8th birthday party, which we’re considering a rehearsal for the wedding.

They start school today. They’ll be in different classrooms. It’ll all be all right.

Transition complete.


Coach’s Query

What change in perspective could help you adjust to a new reality?

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