Back to School

By Sylvie Griffiths:

Today is the second day of school in our area as well as my transgender son, Jake’s birthday.

Last year, I also wrote about my anxiety dealing with the kid’s back to school. Again, I can’t believe that was a year ago. Yesterday, I completed my graduate program, and will officially hold a Master of Business Administration this month. To say last week and this weekend was hectic would be a gross understatement.

All us parents experience the madness that is back to school. Will our kids be nervous about finding new classrooms? Will they make new friends? Will the afterschool program at a new school be as high as our last one? The list goes on and on; back to school is exciting and nerve-wracking for parents as much (or even more so) as their children.

This year, Jake is at a new school. My husband and I, in supporting Jake during his transitioning, had several problems with his school last year. A summer break, usually filled with vacations and other fun things, for us, was a stressful, busy, too short time filled with anxiety trying to find the best fit for our baby. Friday, the first day, was a day that we dreaded as much as we eagerly anticipated.

All parents want the same things for their children; love, support, acceptance, and so much more. My four kids were all on my mind Friday, but Jake’s situation usually is more complicated. Any time one of our kids has a particular need or a problem needing resolution, we parents get right in there and advocate for them.

Jake is a nine-year-old excited to make friends, make his new teacher happy, and to do well in school. Because Jake’s reading struggles lead to low test scores, he is being retained. Self-esteem and confidence are so vital to our kids’ success; we worry the most about Jake in this area. I could not be home until dinner time that first day, and I was distracted thinking about everyone’s first day.

Jake had a fantastic first day. He reported that his teacher was the nicest and that we must buy her “pirate stuff” (she is a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan). He told my husband and me about making two new friends and how the new school is so fresh and fancy. This news did so much for me personally. My botched presentation in class and my flat tire debacle after school faded away. My exhaustion dealing with my mother’s cancer diagnosis and failing health subsided. I could now give my oldest daughter, who struggles with anxiety like her mother, sound advice with a positive attitude to help with school this week.

My youngest child inspires our entire family. His transition and subsequent empowerment have given our family so much. I cannot wait to explain this more to him as he gets older. My oldest son and younger daughter had decent days but were more excited to ask about Jake. My oldest daughter texted to see how Jake was liking his new school.

All of our children have so much to offer the world. I am happy it is my job to get them there. Happy Back to School!


About Sylvie Griffiths:

Sylvie is a happily married mother of four who enjoys writing, people and chocolate.

She is an Evaluation Associate and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Healthcare-Adult Community Concentration, from the University of South Florida. She holds more than ten years of experience in performance assessment and behavioral health services and is currently enrolled as an MBA student at Springfield College, School of Professional and Continuing Studies.