August 29, 2011

The first day of the rest of your life

Elliot is starting kindergarten! He is there, right now!

I have not written here for a long time, but felt today was a milestone that deserved some attention.

The main thing I have to say is that Elliot was so completely awesome, such a sweet trooper, such a clever autonomous guy. Which is not to say that he was leaping with joy about the whole thing; he was definitely not “oh, yay, I cannot wait to plunge into an entirely new environment full of strangers speaking German!” He was, I know, lingeringly concerned.

But this morning, he was level headed and cheerful. He did not balk at getting dressed. He did not resist or mourn, walking into the schoolyard. He smiled at the PTA volunteer greeter lady, at the other parents who he’d met, at his teacher. He did not want to get his picture taken, but then was a good sport when I told him it was a rule (which, okay, is basically true). He was only somewhat intense about getting in the right line and following it in the right way.

When we got to his classroom, he gave Brandon and I hugs, solemnly each in turn. I'm actually going to go ahead and say that he embraced us, because it felt like that sort of thing, like a hug with serious gravitas. Then, unbidden, he walked straight to the center of the room and sat down for circle time, shoulders squared. It was, absolutely, a great moment in my life.

I expect this week will be super tough on Elliot, despite this beginning. But to see his composure was a spectacular thing. I hadn’t realized until the moment that I'd been gearing up for some serious reluctance and melancholy. He takes things hard, that one. So it was great to witness his strength on display, to see that boy, starting his third school in three years, knowing he had a job to do, and walking right into it.

As for myself, I really don’t feel melancholy, or like the time has flown by. Parenting young children has been full of joys, but, I can’t lie, it continues to be pretty hard on me. It doesn’t really play to my strengths. So, I feel glad that he’s growing, and that school time has finally arrived. Check out that kid!

I overheard the mom behind us in line prepping her son on what was going to happen, and I loved what she said: “Now we’re going to walk with you to your room, and then you get to do it.” I wish I had found exactly those words for Elliot, because that sort of enthusiasm, the thrill of getting to do it, is just what I wish for him. Our code, for what it’s worth, is borrowed from Elliot’s current favorite story, Riki-Tiki-Tavi: “the motto of all the mongoose family is, ‘Run and find out’.” Whatever the week and year brings, I’m feeling so amped and happy right now. It’s great to be so full of respect for this sweet scholar mongoose, whose life we are privileged to share.


sarahb said...

Oh, yay. Oh yay yay! I love this, I love you, and I love that boy.

Roxanne said...

LOve this....the motto is great and you both look adorable! Miss you and cheering you on Elliot...still remember you hanging out at our pad working on you are are school lad!! Crazy!!Cheers!