So after all the hand wringing at the beginning of the school year, we decided this month to move Porter out of his neighborhood school and into a public Montessori program (different from the other school we considered earlier). We were lucky to get a spot as we'd been on the wait list since last year, but it was still a very difficult decision. While I feel like it is very much the right choice for us, Porter was (and is) pretty unhappy about the whole thing. He doesn't understand why we are punishing him with this new school, doesn't care that it is good for him, and just wants to go back to the comfort of known routines and good friends.
This was one of our first post-toddler years "we know what's best for you" decisions we've laid down for Porter. He's a good kid, does well in school, and I hate that he is so scared and confused about the whole thing. It isn't a punishment, but it feels like one to him. After his first day last week, I could see him fighting back the tears in his eyes when I picked him up. I can remember that exact feeling, trying not to cry in public, from when I was a kid. I asked him how it went, and he whispered "bad!" But the second day, he was excited about a few things, and the third day it seemed a little better. So although he still asks me when he can go back to his old school, I'm hopeful that the adjustment period won't be too terribly long.
And I have to keep in mind myself that kids change schools all the time for all sorts of reasons, and this isn't actually a very big deal. I know Porter doesn't get it yet, but this will be a tiny blip in his childhood, hopefully one the points us in a better direction.