It's a very good thing that we took a dry run this morning. Because it didn't work ...
My Youngest starts high school on Tuesday. I won't be able to drive or assist him in any way that involves leaving the house because my official start date for my daycare is the same day. So we decided to try out the bus routes this morning to give him a feel for his new mode of transportation as of next week. And ... we waited at the wrong bus stop. A bus never did arrive.
We came back home and called the bus information line once again and got different instructions. A 'better' route than we were originally given. One bus that will take my son from (almost where) his elementary school was (indirectly) to the front doors of his new high school. It will take him 22 minutes to get from 'A' go 'B'.
Unfortunately, I did not absorb what I was reading when I read his back-to-school information ... so the school was locked and appeared to be (almost) abandoned when we arrived for what we had hoped would be a chance to locate his classrooms and ask a few questions. Whoops.
Upon our arrival back home, my eyes and attention were more focused and we found most of what my son will need to know for his first day at school.
Only the Grade 9's will be registering on Tuesday morning. They will meet in the theatre and there is a half hour presentation before they are on their way. After that, they will meet in their home rooms for 20 minutes (I assume that they will get their schedule, locker assignment and locks at this time). Then they proceed with an abbreviated version of what their day will be when they go back for a full day on Wednesday. They have a '15 minute period' for each one of their classes. Again I assume that this is to give them a chance to find their classrooms, meet their teachers and get a list of required supplies.
I could feel the tension fall from My Son's shoulders as he realized how his first day would unfold. "Only half a day?! And it's not even Thursday! (an early dismissal day)". And only Grade 9's in the school in the morning?! "They are really making this easy for us!" As we discussed what I guessed would be a trial run for them in the safety of their own grade level, we both breathed an audible sigh of relief.
We assembled what we assume he will need to get through his first morning. We got him a binder that zips up and holds all of his stationary items as well as zippered pockets to hold other important things (school I.D. and bus pass perhaps?).
The bus ride will be a breeze "I can use that time to finish up homework if I need to ..." (I hope he isn't cutting it that close but I quietly thought to myself that it would be a good time to review before a test). One bus. No transfers.
His first day will be as stress free as one could hope for. A half day surrounded by students his own age and grade level. A chance to find his way through the halls of his new school along with his peers.
We have done all that we know how to do to prepare for this transition. If today would have been his first day, he would have been late as we waited for the wrong bus at the wrong stop. It was far better to make that mistake and learn from it today. Who needs the added stress that would bring to a brand new school year?
As My Son said, "Every cloud has a silver lining ..." It seemed that I heard him finding that silver lining at every turn today. Our trial run was a good adventure for us to enjoy on My Son's last official day of summer holidays. It was music to my ears to hear him find the positive every step along the way.
I feel calm as My Son takes these brave new steps into his future. He may feel unnerved by all that is new but underneath is all, he has a good solid foundation to build on. He is going to be okay.