Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"Go Back to the Car, Dad!"

Over the last weeks I have been training Henry to walk to his class without my assistance. Or so I thought.

Before classes started, Debbie and I went with Henry to orientation. We all walked around his classroom and saw his table with his name on his spot. He like the room, as did we. On the first day of school Henry and I walked together through the double set of outside doors, through the entrance area, took a right turn into the long hallway which led to his classroom, and together journeyed to his classroom door, walked through and into his room. Henry held my hand tightly all the way. He insisted that I go into the classroom with him.

The second day  he was a little clingy. He held my leg as we entered the class. I had to peel him off of me. The day after that was better. We walked holding hands all the way down the hall to the door to his class, and I stopped just before we entered.  (You can see the door-frame in the picture. It is in the middle on the right.) He went in by himself without a problem. The next day we walked beside each other without holding hands. Each day after that I would stop farther from his class.

About a week ago he and I parted at the all important turn into the long hallway. I'd stay at that corner and watch him stride off with happy deliberation. Only once in 7 days did he turn to look back. I felt joy observing him at peace in his new world

Today he took a big step in his maturation and independence. Just as we passed through the double set of outside doors, Henry turned to me and said, "Go back to the car, Dad!" I replied, "O.K. Henry." He marched off confident in his ability to negotiate and navigate the world of school all by himself.

I laughed to myself. Here I thought I was teaching him to go by himself to school, and in the end he taught me to let go. What a great morning!

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