Sunday, August 26, 2007

He Goes to School; I Grow Up

As I mentioned, last week was the first week of school for my son. The high(low?)lights:

Kindergarten Assessment. After sitting on tiny plastic chairs for an hour and a half, the teacher finally called my son’s name, along with another little girl. Per typical my son, he eagerly jumped up, told me not to worry and that he would be right back. The little girl was not as eager to leave her parent’s side. She cried and pulled away from the teacher; every mother in the hall ooohed and awwwed and the other little kids nodded or gave sympathetic eyes. All except mine. He told her to grow up and said if she didn’t live in a castle, she shouldn’t act like a princess. He added a “Right, Mommy?” for good measure.

Chivalry is dead.

And my son killed it.

Open House. The tiny plastic chairs are even tinier in the kindergarten classroom. The room smelled antiseptically clean from the antibac hand sanitizers stationed around the room coupled with the faint bouquet of dry erase marker. There are no chalkboards. Not one. It was crowded with parents and stepparents – 38 of us to our 15 children. We were introduced to the philosophies and ideals of his new teacher and the elementary school in general, followed by question and answer, followed by a trip to the school cafeteria for him to be fingerprinted. That is how we and he will pay for lunches. We can deposit as much as we want in his meal account and when he chooses to eat at school, they’ll scan his thumb and…voila! Chalkboards have been replaced by computers, most of the kids have three or four parents, some have one, only a few have two, and buying hot lunches is something straight out of Mission: Impossible.

The First Day. Remember last week's post? Yeah? I cried. A lot. I tried to hold back the tears. I really did. I didn’t want him to get freaked out and think there was something to fear. But watching him hang up his backpack (five years old! with a backpack!) then scurry to his seat with absolutely no assistance from me? Well, it all kind of hit me at once: he’s a big kid.

“Why are you crying, Mommy?”

“I’m not,” I lied.

“Then why are your eyes shiny? Those are tears.”

I didn’t know how to answer.

“You’re crying because I’m all big?”

I nodded.

Then in a bizarre role reversal he grabbed my face, kissed my cheeks, hugged me and patted me on the back. “It’s okay, Mommy. I’m still your little boy. And even when I grow up it means I can take care of you then. So you should be happy, okay? Feel better?”

Sigh…I did feel better.

Chivalry is not dead.


Gemma Halliday said...

That’s it, Bethany, I’m not reading your posts anymore. I’m in tears again! They grow up so fast, don’t they? What an emotional week.

And, a little creepy about the fingerprint thing...


Anonymous said...

I'm with Gemma on this one, Bethany. *sniff, sniff* Where IS the dag-blasted tissue box anyway? lol.

But, seriously. Great post about being a mom. And your son sounds like a future hero to be. Cherish him.

Estella said...

They just grow up too fast!

Christie Craig said...

Ahh Beth,

My baby boy is seventeen. You made me remember all those sweet times, all the firsts in his life. They can be so precious. Then they become teenagers. :-) Okay...he still has his moments.


Anonymous said...

They grow up so fast. That's just so sweet.

Bethany True said...

He's a ton of fun. He makes being a mom the best job in the world!

Carol M said...

awwwww He sounds like such a sweet little boy! I didn't cry when I read this. It's been so long since my children were small. Now my grandchildren are growing up. That's the way it is. And now my sweet little son and my sweet little daughter look out for me. That's the way it is! :)

Allie Hollister said...

If you don't live in a
Then I got "Shiney eyes."
Great post. Sounds like you have a great kid.


Unknown said...

I love Kindergarteners! Out of the mouths of babes! LOL. My baby started 5th grade and said I didn't need to take her into Open House and refused the following day to take 1st day of school pictures. She's soooo grown up and COOL now! I keep reminding myself this too shall pass. Hold on to them while you can and pass me a tissue!