Wednesday, August 15, 2007

first day of school! first day of school!*

I spent a little time with Ezra in his classroom this morning, and we were both a bit shell-shocked. He and I stood still in the center of the room, turning around to check out the other kids and parents and observe the general chaos of the beginning of the school year.

When it was time to say goodbye, his eyes welled up and he tried to blink back the tears. That was the most heartbreaking part--that he was trying to be a big, brave boy.

So I told him he was being a pussy scooped him up in my arms and kind of lost it myself a bit. "This is such a big change," he whispered into my shoulder. And though my heart was already broken, this pretty much ground it to bits.

I told him it was okay to be scared and uncomfortable but my guess was he would end up having a great time. (I know, I know, there I go again being a fabulous mother, can I just stop already?) (No, I can't.) He nodded his head, and right at that moment the teacher was calling the kids to gather at the center of the room, and off he went.

When I picked him up in the afternoon, he had a big smile on his face. "Mommy, you know what?" he said. "I thought this was a really big change but it wasn't." I'm guessing that this is a honeymoon phase, and when it sinks in that he actually has to do this every day, he'll stage a minor rebellion. Even today, I got glimpses of serious ambivalence. On the way home from the library he said to me, completely out of the blue, "My hands are red and hurting."

"From what?" I asked.

"From cleaning up all that paper at school today." I could hear the scowl on his face. He was pissed; deep down, he's red and hurting too.

And when his grandma offered to dry him off after his bath and he said, "Why don't you wait and see how good a job I do before you mess with me," I could see that he is working through some stuff. Because despite what he says, it really is a big change--for him, for Levi and Lilah, and for his parents.

Still, for a first day, I think it couldn't have gone better.

*That's meant to be a reference to Finding Nemo, for those of you without kids who haven't seen the movie once or 500 times.

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