I remember my oldest son’s first day of school like it was yesterday. Well, okay, maybe not so vividly since he’s grown now but still pretty well.
He was five and my younger son was two at the time. Nicholas didn’t want to go if he couldn’t take me with him. He was under the impression at enrollment it was a group excursion, you know, him, brother and mom. After explaining it didn’t work that way because I was too old and Matthew was too young we finally got him on the bus with lots of tears and hugs.
Matthew kept trying to get me to let him go; surely they don’t mind a kid in diapers tagging along… his brother needed him.
Oddly, my younger son was always the adventurer of the two. He had no fear, would have set out to explore a new world without any worries but not his older brother. Nicholas was fine just staying at home with mom. Always apprehensive to leave, just bring the world to him in the form of a video and he’d be just fine, no need to go outside. He had everything he needed right here, mom, cookies and Sesame Street.
He finally decided he didn’t mind kindergarten and after a while he even kind of liked it. The playground was cool; he enjoyed story time and Mrs. Ryan was nice.
His first friend was a little Kickapoo boy who didn’t speak English. We live near a reservation and get some kids from there. He latched on to Nicholas probably because he was the only other dark headed brown-eyed boy in the class. Eventually, he learned some English and he’d tell Nicholas to “come here.” They played with the cars he brought in his backpack and made roads with rocks.
My memories of elementary school are a little fuzzy. Smells of paste, tempera paint and listening to books on tapes are my most vivid memories. If I twisted the cord on the tape player it made a crinkly sound. My teacher was a lady with black hair, probably dyed and horn-rimmed glasses.
It’s not easy to let the fledglings leave the nest but they all have to at some point.