Juliana clutched my hand tightly as we walked into her school for Kindergarten orientation. She was glued so close to my side that she tripped me several times as we made our way to her classroom. We signed in and she wanted to stay in the hallway and look for her cubby instead of brave the room filled with her new classmates and their parents. Her teacher met us as we walked in the room and Juliana quietly said hello and whispered her name while wrapping her arms around my waist.
Juliana looked at the floor as we made our way to the back of the room to sit down and she promptly curled up in my lap when I had a seat. For a room of 5-yr olds it was very quiet. Eventually the noise level started to build as some of the children started to interact. Juliana said hello to a few kids but never left my side. I encouraged her to play but she would only agree if I was with her.
We left the room with all of the Kindergartners and their parents to tour the school. In the middle of the tour Juliana took a big step. She reached out and took someone’s hand and walked with them the remainder of the tour. She glanced back several times to make sure that we were still in the long line of people and each time I smiled back to reassure her.
We went back to the other Kindergarten classroom for snacks and questions. Juliana played with a few more children and then went back to her friend from the tour. Juliana asked her new friend to come home with us and then asked if she could come to our house this weekend for a play-date. There were hugs and excited yells of “see you next week” as we were leaving her new bff – Ms W.