learning to navigate the world, j-bear style

I have a what?!

Today, little bear had his first day of school.

For those unwise to the weather of where we are, if they even know where we are, it has been hotter than the devil’s armpit for over a week now and we’ve all been slowly melting off the planet. Most homes in this area were not built with central air conditioning in mind so you can imagine how miserable some of us (ME!) are. This had me so worried about J’s first days of school because he overheats in the blink of an eye. He’s getting better about realizing he is thirsty but if you turn your back for a second it seems he turns red and looks about to faint. It’s not fun.

Now you’re equipped to imagine my excitement upon walking into the school to find their air conditioning had broken. It was dead as a dead thing could be and those classrooms were stuffy. However, his teacher greeted him warmly and he had two familiar faces in  his classroom: the BCBA for the school and a little girl who was in group for a few weeks with him. He cried going in, cried entering the classroom, cried as he remained in the classroom without any of his people. 

Now, cut to 11:30 this morning. 3 hours after dropping him off, I returned to pick J up. All of the other children come jogging out to their respective people, happy as can be. J is happy too, but unlike all the other tidy children I ended up with a runaway from the Lord of the Flies. He was covered with sand and marker. It was hysterical to me. Only J could leave his first day of school looking like that. He did well though and the sand kept him from melting down non-stop about being at school. Tomorrow, I hope, will be even better.

It dawned on me as we drove away from the school that holy cow, I now have a kid. I no longer have a baby (that ship sailed long ago), I no longer have a toddler or any other variation of tiny child. I have a full-fledged kid. It’s like by walking through that door this morning he was accepted into the Secret Order of Kid-dom and given all the rights and privledges thereof. Let me tell you, it feels weird.

He is my baby of course. He’s my little pickle boy and could be a 6ft linebacker and I’d still likely see him that way. It feels weird to no longer see him as so small a child and I cannot quite put that into words. It’s as things should be and of course I want to see him grow as I am so eager to know the person he will grow to be but part of me mourns for that which is past and done now. I miss snuggly baby cuddles and sweet toddler antics. I miss the unsteady steps and the uncertain view of so many things this world has to offer. I love the little boy in my house right this second, but this is going to take a lot to get used to.

Like a true bad parent, I only took one picture and as a staff member is in that picture I’m not comfortable posting it. I will take more as the weeks wear on.


A fundraising update: I am submitting the information to Mabel’s Labels tonight! They have worked with 4 Paws families before and I am excited to add this to our fundraising fun. 🙂


  1. anne rossetti (mary's sister)

    Happy First Day of School!

    • nicole

      Thank you Anne! I anticipate days 2-4 being more tough than day 1 as he knows what’s going to happen fully now but things can do nothing but improve as he gets into the routine. 🙂

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