There wasn't a child there that seemed sad. Some seemed quite angry, but many looked joyful...then there were a couple who simply looked bored. As I scanned the faces of the new students getting ready for a summer away from home - a summer of full class days, full work afternoons, church services and yes, even some fun...I realized that so many of these kids were there for reasons SO close to our own. DS2 fit in the happy category - however, he was also shell-shocked. There was a lot to hear and digest. Those are not always his strong suits. At some point I could tell he just stopped listening. I knew I couldn't sit there for our last 2 hours together and pick on him to listen, stop fidgeting, pay attention, don't wander off...etc.
So, I listened. And, I watched him.
At the end of a very long day of interviews, video presentations, walking tours and signing papers - we got his room key and moved him into his dorm. I was still being mom until the last moment - I wanted to do it all for him. Make his bed (which I did) - fold his clothes and pick the right drawers for everything (which I didn't).
The headmaster of the school said so many things that hit home with us. He said the the biggest role the school can fulfill for hurting families is a big TIME OUT. Time for healing on all sides...the bonus side of this is that our child will be learning and kept safe while we are getting on at the job of living. Or remembering how to live...without fighting and anger and sadness.
When we hugged DS2 and gave him our last pep talks (if it doesn't feel right to you, it's not right for you)...he hugged us back - tight for a moment or two. Then, he ran off to explore and find some new friends. Hubby says he swears he saws tears in his eyes...I didn't. But, I don't judge either - I wasn't crying. I was nervous right up until...well, I will let you know when that nervousness goes away.
The people I described above were the kids at school...the parents were more easily summed up:
Scared and very, very tired.