At precisely 6:40 AM, after having gotten a solid and straight 4-1/2 hours of sleep and feeling as though I was ready to take on the world, I bounded into Oscar’s room to rouse him from his slumber, announcing with all the enthusiasm I could muster, “Good Morning! Time to get up! It’s your first day of Kindergarten!”
I was met with the following: “Why can’t I just sleep in today?”
Ummm . . . this may or may not have been the very question I asked Oscar myself throughout the months of July and August when he sashayed into our room at 6:30 AM or so.
But there’s more.
After checking out himself in the mirror, he informed me that his “hair didn’t look right.” The boy, who for the last five years couldn’t have cared less about his hair is suddenly Vinnie Barbarino and inquiring about product.
At breakfast–a potpourri of his favorite foods–he told us he no longer liked the bananas, sweetbread, or Cracklin’ Oat Bran that were on his plate. If this were true, it would have left us with precisely five things he would eat.
He wouldn’t pose for a photo on the porch until Don sat him down and tickled him.
And he wouldn’t pose in front of the school, so a shot from behind was all I could get.
When we arrived in the classroom, he hung back a little, slowly moving to hang up his backpack and lunch box and to the question of the day–a yes/no question that greets the children each morning. Today’s question was Do You Like Cookouts? Of the 17 clothespins–each featuring a child’s name–all were in the “Yes” column. Except Oscar’s. He decided he did not like cookouts. Whether it was his vegetarianism or his orneriness that was responsible for his answer, we will never know; but I was secretly pleased that he–as he often does–marched to the beat of his own drummer.
We checked out his job of the day then said our goodbyes. There were tears–plenty of them (mine I saved for the ride home)–and I came home and sat by the phone half-expecting to get a call but knowing that he would be fine.
And fine he was! When I picked him up at the end of his day, he ran to the car, finagled himself into his booster seat without waking either of his sleeping brothers, and talked incessantly the whole way home about every detail he could remember. He then borrowed my cell phone to talk to Don and give him a report!
It was a milestone for Oscar and one for his parents, family, friends, caregivers, and teachers, too. This is a boy who is ready for school thanks to one and all!