Two of my kids finally started preschool in the local school district. We’ve been there about a week and a half, and it is going really well. Smaller groups of kids and very nice parents. I was worried about my daughter knocking over my son, but they are in separate classrooms. They have aides who support their needs, and the teachers are fantastic. Last week a mom came up to me and handed me a note, telling me she had written it to me in case we didn’t meet. It was a birthday party invitation. She apologized for not sending a ‘real’ invite, but we joined the class after they went out. I was excited! My son’s first invite from a classmate.
As the party day approached, I pondered over a gift. I imagined the festivities, food and camaraderie. Then I read a blog article about moms who are so judgmental that they come right out and ask why other people’s kids are ______ (fill in the blank). It also referenced moms who are over the top competitive. The ‘competimoms’ who are always prepared, organized, ahead of YOU and even hand out business cards at the park. Good lord. What was I in for? Despite our ordeals, I have a pretty rosy outlook on life. This kind of thing never occurred to me. I started to sweat.
The party has a superhero theme. What if we get to the party and people ask why my son isn’t walking? What if they ask if he is less intelligent, or something similar? What if they ask what’s ‘wrong’ with him, or why he won’t wear a costume? I decided I would just blend into the walls if it felt stressful. What I didn’t worry about was saying something dumb myself. Guess what happened? To one of the first moms I met, I nervously babbled something innocuous enough, but dumb enough that I felt like melting into the floor. She was gracious and let it go. I had nowhere to go but up after that. One little girl couldn’t stop touching my son. Another’s mom told me her daughter talks about him all the time. Another one put her palm on his cheek while saying hello. He’s been there eight days! Apparently it’s not my little superhero I have to worry about socially. It’s me. Ok, deep breath.
Once I calmed down, I met some really lovely people. I let my anxiety go and we had a great time. The kids made a circle and each went into the middle to show off their superhero ‘power’. My son scooted out there and spun around on his bottom, giggling like crazy to the kids’ applause. I steadied him while he stood and took a turn knocking over the plastic bowling pins with a ball. Just like the other kids. It was pretty great. I don’t know that all of our experiences will be this way. I have heard plenty of stories to the contrary. But as an introduction to people we may know until the kids finish high school, it was a wonderful start. I am grateful and I will continue to use whatever superhero powers that may come my way to keep it like that.