So, they finally gave us a date for James to move up from the Dewdrops to the next classroom. In another two weeks, he'll no longer be in the baby room. He'll be in the toddler room.
He went and visited the Hummingbirds a few days ago for the first time. I think he was overwhelmed a little because he's used to being the big man in the room, the tallest, the strongest and most active, and the most able. However, in the new room, he's more average. There are some familiar faces in the new room, but James hasn't seen them in so long that he probably doesn't really recognize them anymore. Of course I remember the kiddo who bit James on the face (he better not do it again, grrrr), the one with the continually super-runny nose (adorable and gross at the same time, poor little thing), and a few of the others, too. It's nice to see how they've progressed.
I know he'll have more fun in this new classroom once he gets over the adjustment to it. He'll thrive and learn a lot. It's funny though, I think back and try to remember my first memories... of pre-school, of finger painting, of pretending to fly to faraway places in a plastic refrigerator, of chasing other kids and being chased, the first time I ever had to stand in a line, of all kinds of things, and then the more recent, but still distant past. The shock of coming from my tiny hometown to UT... I was one of the best and brightest at my high school, Salutatorian, National Merit, without even trying really, or ever learning how to study, I just did my homework, showed up for tests, and was a really good test taker. At UT, almost everyone I ran into (I lived next to the Honor's Dorms) was a Valedictorian or Salutatorian and/or National Merit and/or some kind of genius and it blew my mind. I felt small and unshiny. Later, I sort of managed to come into my own... but it took a while to readjust my world and self-view to deal with the new circumstances... and it's still hard for me... it wasn't just then... I've been shocked with changes a few times... because I didn't know enough about what was coming or could be, or who I am out of context... and sometimes even, who I am IN context... and so, when cornered or severely hurt, I definitely shut down and retreat... I still haven't mastered keeping my mouth shut... but now it's mostly to a place of talking-down to you, cold, intellectualized not-niceness. I guess it's better than screaming which also doesn't help anything much.
I'm glad that James is learning how to view himself and others in many different ways early on... I want him to be secure in the person he is regardless of his circumstances. I don't want his faith in himself to be shaken dramatically one day... leaving him with more questions than answers when he looks in the mirror. And I know that most people go through that at least once in their lives, but maybe when he hits that point, it'll go easier for him than it did for me. I think that these little shake ups early on will help him be more adaptable and resilient and less like me in some ways.
I want him to be a tremendously self-powerful, successful, and happy man one day. This is my hope for him. He has all the raw talent and tools to be this man; it's my job to help give him the opportunities and experiences that will help him learn to use them, and a safe place to come home to when he's ready to rest.