My kid is graduating today. Not high school graduating or anything, but still, this feels pretty serious.
Here he is on the first day of kindergarten, which I blogged about when it happened just last week.
Here he is holding that same bear today.
Okay, that’s not the same bear, and in fact that’s a lion, but metaphorically speaking, it’s the same bear.
Vincenzo has had a very low-key, low-drama six years at elementary school. I don’t have a whole lot of major things to recount—just the regular stuff that happens to kids during those years. He learned to read, he lost almost all his teeth, he grew new ones, he learned to ride a bike, he played sports, he won some awards, he didn’t win others, he made friends, he grew a number of inches. All normal stuff.
I still can’t believe it, that he’s leaving the womb that we call elementary school and jumping into the public swimming pool that we call middle school. I mean, I still don’t feel comfortable with him crossing the street by himself, and here I am sending him to a school chock full of dangers, like hormones and drugs and *gasp*—self organization. I used to teach junior high, so I know how tough it can be for the kids whose work spaces look like this in the fifth grade:
(For once, a picture I didn’t have to stage even a tiny bit!)
On the other hand, I can totally believe that Vincenzo is taking the next step forward. I have been through all the stages of a parent watching their kid go through elementary school. There was the new parent excitement of signing up for every possible committee, being enchanted with the class parties that I of course organized, getting the giggles at parent orientations because surely I was too young to be here, inviting all his friends’ families over for dinner so we could get to know them better. Flash forward six years and here is the parent who only signs up for committees when the teacher sends out that e-mail saying, “HEY NO ONE SIGNED UP FOR ANYTHING, WTF GUYS.” I’m the parent sitting in the back of parent orientation, feeling way too grown up to have to sit through another one of these. I have become the parent who doesn’t get the point of attending class parties anymore as the kids are just sitting there watching a movie, and I can’t remember the name of the friends’ house my son is at today but I’m pretty sure it starts with an "E.” Or an “S.”
Still, I was born the sentimental type and I can so easily bring myself back to that morning when V carried his giant teddy bear to school, got lost and almost didn’t make it to his classroom at all, then flashed me the “thumb’s up” sign once an aide rescued him and delivered him to his very first day of public education.
When I tucked Vincenzo in bed last night, I asked him how he was doing and if he was feeling any emotions. He said, “What kind of emotions? Why? Did something happen that’s supposed to make me feel emotional?
Like I said, six years of elementary school and nothing’s changed.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE: