What a star Braedan was today! We were up bright and early (not an easy thing in this household, trust me) and drove over to the new house after dropping Austin off at my mom’s so I’d be able to stay for the orientation. We parked there and took some pictures and then Mark and I walked proudly off to school with Braedan in between us. We could hear the marching band practicing at Shaker High in the distance which added some pep to our steps.
The parents and kids were gathered outside the kindergarten playground, so Mark waited until he met Mrs. Murphy and then left for work and then the bell rang and in we went, just like that, entering the big new world of school. I stayed in the class for an hour filling out paperwork, signing up for the PTA, paying for his gym shirt. Braedan was completely unfazed by the newness of everything, by how different he looked from his classmates (which he did, by both race and gender, although only one third of the class was there today). He just breezed right into things, sitting up there in the circle explaining the airplane picture he drew, and then eagerly raising his hand to tell a longwinded story after the teacher mentioned their “own special playground.”
“At my preschool,” he began, “Even when we were in the 5s class, we all shared one playground so the little kids could come on the same one as the big kids. And I come here to this playground, to both of them. Sometimes I come with my friend who lives right here on the same street as school but he doesn’t go here. I bring my bike to his house or sometimes I ride one of his bikes, because he has two, a little one and a big one, and we come here and I can do the monkey bars and I can do them all the way frontwards and sometimes I do them sideways and swing really fast and then the other day, I even did them backwards all the way and . . . ” all without stopping for a breath!
The teacher sat smiling and nodding and trying to gently cut him off so she could call another little hand waving eagerly in the air. And I watched him, so at ease, so comfortable and confident in who he is and the value of all he has to say (and my, does he have a lot to say) and that was the only moment I cried. Just a little tear and then I knew he would soon glance over at me to make some cute little face that meant, “Wow, Mom, did you hear that that girl’s name is Jasmine, just like Jasmine my babysitter? Wow!” (all communicated with a lift of his eyebrows and some vigorous head nodding), so I dried my tear and then the teacher let them come and give us kisses goodbye and I was off.
And he’ll be great, I just know it. My star.