I want to thank everyone who wrote such heartfelt, supportive comments and/or emails. I really appreciated them and felt so much better and less alone after reading them. Thank you!
The week has been a bit of a roller coaster with regards to Danny and school. Tuesday, he went into school all by himself with just a bit of a sniffle and downcast look on his face. As we pulled up, I asked him if he could go in by himself and he said "yes." I was really pleased that he seemed to be making progress.
Wednesday was another story. I realize in hindsight that I didn't ask him whether he felt like he could go in by himself. I just pulled up and he started crying, actually more like sobbing, saying over and over again that he wanted me to go to school with him, that he wanted to stay with me, etc. I walked him in again, but it was a lot harder to get him to enter his classroom. Class had already begun (it had taken a bit of coaxing to get him to quiet down) and I didn't feel like I should go into the class; it would have disrupted everything. His teacher did tell me that every day he has calmed down pretty quickly, so that was a comfort.
Today, I took some precautions. I had noticed that yesterday he hadn't brought his blanket in the car with him, so I brought it today. I have no idea if that made a difference or not, but I thought it might help. He chews on his blanket when he is tired, stressed or upset and it always calms him down. I also remembered to ask him if he could go in by himself, and he said yes. He not only got out of the car willingly, but he told me he loved me before he left. He wasn't running gleefully into school like I am hoping he will someday, but he is definitely making progress. This comforts me, because if there were something in school that really scared or upset him, I don't think he would ever go in by himself willingly. Also, it isn't so much that he doesn't want to go to school, it is actually that he wants me to go with him, so I think it is a matter of security for him.
I still wish I could stay with him all day, but it is getting easier for me too, though it really breaks my heart to see his sad little face scrunched up and trying not to cry. I hate that he is scared and that I can't be there for him.