he's in the number grades now

I find myself thinking ahead, the way, when you're reading a really good book, you catch your eyes scanning the right page while you're really still reading the left, just to see what might happen next.
I've known, even before I held him in my arms, that if I did it right and if I was lucky, my job was to watch him go.  Since that first snuggly day I've been steeling myself for the heartache of separation.  I anticipate plenty more small departures over the years - he may vanish into friendships, sports, politics, music - but kindergarten felt like a big one.

I used to worry whether he would survive schooling with enough curiosity and creativity to design the kind of life he'd want.  I was afraid the whirlwinds and the forest fires and the comets and the magic inside him could be educated right out.

What a silly fear, arisen from a self-imposed requirement to be anxious about something.  What a privilege though, too, fretting over imaginary things, a sign that I am living a generally peaceful life.  And so is he.

He moved through the year like it was his destiny, without the feel that, for most of us, school is just a phase.  I have a sense that someday, when he is not the student, he may be the teacher.

Summer feels like some kind of punctuation, not the end of a sentence, maybe a comma or an ellipsis.  The close of kindergarten is unquestionably the end of something, but just as surely the beginning of something else.  He's in the number grades now, and looking ahead, I have a feeling I better practice using my excited voice...

1 comment:

Poppy John said...

Jenni Baby,

Your "excited voice" doesn't need practice. It's perfect...just like Tucker.