The first day of Kindergarten

I am filled with worry and concern for my child’s well-being. It’s not that I think that he’s going to come to any real harm in Kindergarten, where I just dropped him off, its that I feel that I am not equipped to help him if he needs it. I am deficient in the ways of social mores. I know how to fake it. I know how to cater to my survival strategies and tactics. These can’t be taught to a normal person, and I’m sure that my reasonings for things would only confuse him and teach him the wrong way to go about it. My way is how to travel in through the side window because I can’t see the front door. Teaching someone to scale a wall and shimmy up a drainpipe to break into the upstairs window unnoticed would surely seem an odd way to go about it to a normal person who sees everyone else going into the front door. I’m terrified of giving him the impression that he isn’t worth enough to go through the front door, as I was taught.

My mate was raised differently than I was. His race breeds and raises children that are prepared for hardships they might face. They are tossed into the mix and expected to be self-reliant, learning as they stumble along the way. They emerge emotionally strong and independent, socially forthright. My race raises children that are quiet and thoughtful, but largely dependent on their parents for guidance. I know no other way, and while I am very concerned about the social issues that my child might face, my mate has no worries, believing that once tossed into the river, he will learn to swim on his own just fine.

While it doesn’t appear that my son has the same level of social anxiety that I have had, I can tell he is nervous. One asset that he has that I didn’t is the ability to voice his thoughts and concerns without fear of ridicule. My thoughts and needs were forever trapped inside a box of fear, locked behind my eyes, serving only to confuse and frighten me. I do my best to soothe his fears and answer his questions, but sometimes I flounder. My biggest fear now is not being able to help him transition from aloneness to sociality. If he feels unsure and looks into my eyes for guidance and sees only that I am also unsure… they say that parent to a child is just another word for God. What does a frightened one feel when they look at God and see fear in his eyes?

When he is outspoken, he embarrasses me, and I reel him in. When he is ridiculed by someone else, I don’t defend him and instead try to find out what happened and why he did what he did. I don’t mean to shoot him down. It’s my own fears that I cater to. I don’t like social confrontation and would rather exit the situation in the smoothest way with the least amount of interaction. It’s the only way I know to get out of a social situation. I praise him when he does well. I swallow my nerves and cheer him when he’s doing something difficult in front of other people. But confrontation, especially with strangers, is not something I know how to deal with. All social interactions have a pattern, an accepted recipe that people follow. It’s a dance I can’t learn, and I don’t know how to learn. Unfortunately, this side-effect might be teaching him that he isn’t worth standing up for, and I would rather die than have him feel this way about himself. I was taught this, and it has left me feeling damaged.

I had the hardest time in school, mainly because of this. If I had felt that I was worth standing up for, then I might have voiced my concerns regardless of the fact that I lack the natural ability to interact with people. I don’t want him to feel the way that I did. I don’t want to be the one to teach him to feel that way.


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