Wednesday, September 03, 2008

And so it begins again

There is something very comforting about being in an elementary school classroom. Very little has changed in that world. The overhead projector looks a little fancier and the black boards are now white boards. But otherwise it's the same cheery little room with the same cheery little name tags taped to the same cheery little desks.

Drop-off for The Kid's first day of 1st grade went smoothly. He fidgeted nervously while we waited outside for the bell to ring and refused to let go of me even for a second as we pushed our way through the crowded halls in search of his classroom.

But then, glimmering in the sun as if God himself were smiling upon it, The Kid found salvation: his very own locker. His very own FULL SIZE locker. With his name on it, and ONLY his name on it. Never in my entire school career did I have a full size locker that didn't come with a locker buddy. The Kid was delirious with excitement. I was bitter and resentful.

With a new spring in his step, The Kid bounded into the classroom and added his voice to the growing pandemonium. We located his desk (front and center) and the desks of his friends. I introduced him to his teacher, who looked almost as nervous as The Kid. (She's young and new. And pretty enough to be the subject of scandalous headlines, if she's not careful.)

And then, while The Kid compared folder and notebook designs with his friends, I began to unload the community school supplies into the appropriate bins at the back of the class room. No longer rookies, I'm proud to say that the parents organized the supplies with a skill and grace unfathomable on the first day of kindergarten. We have all grown so much.

And then it was over. I stood at the front of the room observing the scene: teacher timidly calling the children for circle time; parents snapping photos with the zeal of paparazzi stalking a pantiless starlet; The Kid, happy, settled, and completely oblivious to the voice of his teacher or the wave of my hand as I exited, stage left.

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