Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First day of school

A had her first day of school today. She is starting at a new school and I was a bit apprehensive about the transition. But she was very excited when I picked her up and told me all about the fun things she did.
This is my big girl in her new princess backpack, carefully chosen dress (courtesy of Mama) and new shoes.

Y starts tomorrow, Erev Rosh Hashana, which I find kind of appropriate. I will drop him off at school on Wednesday, and then spend the next two days crying and praying  that he can be in a Jewish school the following year. I would be lying if I said I was not apprehensive- I am one big bundle of anxiety. The teacher called today to introduce herself and she sounded nice. When I told her that Y loves music, she told me she hopes to use a lot of music in the classroom. She also told me that tomorrow there will only be two (!) kids in the class, although more will be joining over the course of next week.
I prepared a little note for her with some information about Y. This is what it says- most  of it anyway:

Our names/phone numbers/email addresses
Likes: Music and musical instruments, Elmo (and all sesame street ), Toy cars and trucks, His shadow, Uncle Moishy (a Jewish entertainer who has songs and DVDs)
Fearful of: loud noises (including loud coughs, laughing or sneezing), the glare of the sun coming through the window
Communication: Y’s receptive language is at a higher level than his expressive language. However, he definitely can communicate his needs in 2-3 word utterances and should be encouraged to do so (“I want more water please” vs. “Water”)
Food: Our family keeps a strictly kosher diet. We will be providing food for snacks and lunch from home. Under no circumstances should he be given food that has not been sent from home unless it was checked/okayed by his parents. This includes baking activities at school. Y does not fully understand the concept of kosher yet and may want to eat food provided by the school. Please do not allow him to do so.
Please don’t hesitate to be in touch with us if you have any questions or concerns. We would like to be active participants in Y’s education and look forward to working with you.

Do you think it's overkill? I am just worried he will freak out about something and won't be able to tell them what is upsetting him. I am sure they will  get to know him over the course of the year but giving your child over to strangers for a large part of the day is scary. It all comes back to wanting to be in control.
Which is my perfect tie-in to Rosh Hashana. It's a day of accepting G'ds malchus and finally admitting you are not in control. We have hopes and aspirations for the coming year but ultimately G'd decides what will be. It is both scary and comforting at once. Wishing everyone a Ksiva Vechasima Tova and a Shana Tova.


  1. DEFINITELY not overkill-- I think your letter is perfect. It states the necessary info, so Y can have a good year and they can know what they need to know. Great line-- you want to take an active roll in his education-- halevai all parents should have that perspective... wishing Y lots of hatzlacha this yr, and it should go smoothly... and well.... BREATHE!!! ok, you can be as anxious as you feel you need to-- you are doing the right thing, in every way.
    wishing you a gut gebenched yahr!

  2. PS I love the pic of A in her new dress all ready for school!! She is ka"h beautiful!
    PPS when Kovy was in a non-jewish special preschool, we went thru the same thing with the food issue. his teachers/therapists were very respectful and understanding/accommodating. they let us know ahead of time about birthday parties, celebrations, cooking activities so we could send in s/t for kovy.

  3. Your letter is excellent and reminds me of the many letters I've written over the years. The first time I sent a child to public preschool special ed, I felt the same apprehension. However, after a very short time I was just overjoyed to have him in an appropriate setting.

    Most teachers are familiar with kosher food and I found they were very happy to keep kosher snacks in the classroom (pretzels, etc) in case my son needed them. The only issue is Pesach and I do keep my son home on Chol Hamoed and erev Pesach.