We turned up early and waited in the foyer for the Monday morning staff meeting to conclude. Then the assistant principal walked us down to the Ari's class which was in the same building. Ari hovered around Dave's legs as he met the teacher, but seemed more or less okay, if a little shy. She took him to put his bag in a cubby, then took him into the class where he was immediately greeted by a group of girls (7 and 8 year old girls love Ari because he's so little cute). We told him we were taking Bryn to his class and would be back. In hindsight, it might have been better to take Bryn to his class first because we kind of disappeared and Ari had no idea where Bryn's class was - more on that in a minute.
So, then we walked Bryn over to his class. He got to put his bag in, and the teacher told us she had books and pens etc. for him but he would need a pencil case. She asked if he had a book with him. Bryn is the kind of kid who never leaves for school without his personal library of books in tow, but Dave had taken them all out of his bag this morning. The teacher said she could lend him a book, so all was well and we left Bryn with his teacher to meet the classroom dog and the other kids.
We walked back to Ari's class where the teacher was sitting with him at the table, with the group of girls standing around them. The teacher moved to the reader boxes and Ari followed and this is when we realised he'd gotten a little teary after we left. He was brushing away tears with his jacket sleeve while his teacher talked to him and showed him the books in the reader boxes. He didn't see us for a few minutes, but when he did, he just gave a brave smile through his tears and kept paying attention to the teacher. More kids came into the class and everyone gravitated toward the mat in the corner of the room, Ari went with the other kids and as the bell rang, we left.
Poor Dave, I could see he wanted to go to Ari, but I was holding him back because I thought it might undermine Ari's resolve to be brave. Dave was transferring more than me over 'being the new kid'. I've done it many times more than Dave, but I think that means he feels it more keenly.
Of course, now, sitting here at my desk, I feel so for the boys. It really is hard to leave an environment you know, and leave your friends, and start again. I really hope the boys find people to get along with today, even though they're only there until 1.30pm.
Intellectually, I know this is probably the best move for Ari. Still, it's hard not to be aware of the damage caused by disruption to their social circle. They will, hopefully, settle in nicely and make friends, but the disruption is a wound which, when healed will always leave it's mark. While that mark will be, hopefully, a big part resilience - the knowledge that they were okay even though it was scary -, it will also be that knowledge of loss. It's hard to be the instigator of loss.