First grade

Not one to be overly prepared and ready for school I was up ’til about one o’clock in the morning tending the laundry, fixing Sam’s packed lunch, and merrily sewing Discovery Park Nature Day Camp patches and other decals onto Sam’s new school back pack. We’d also used fabric markers to draw on some blank canvas squares and I spent a good part of last night jamming needle and thread through thumb and heavy fabric, battling to attach them to Sam’s new lunchbox in an effort to personalise that too.

When Sam awoke this morning his specifically requested orange Transformers t-shirt had been plucked from the heap of dirt encrusted clothes left on the bathroom floor, and was now clean, ironed and neatly ready to be worn. He was so thrilled with his new gear that he was parading around the house dwarfed by his backpack at least half an hour before we had to leave the house.

What a great turnaround. Sam had been dragging his feet and grumpily declaring his hatred of school as the new year approached, but this morning he was cheerful and chivvying me along out of the house.

Perhaps it also helped that we dropped by the elementary school yesterday to investigate his new classroom and were lucky enough to run into his new teacher busy setting up for her students. She seemed super. She was approachable, enthusiastic and very friendly. She didn’t at all mind taking a few minutes from what must’ve been a jam packed day to talk, show him around and really put him at ease. We also bumped into Sam’s kindergarten teacher in the hallway as we were leaving and he was relieved to know that he would still see her around the school. On the drive home, in the midst of a furious diatribe about bad guys and battles Samuel declared that his new teacher seems almost as nice as his old one.

In the playground he didn’t seem to mind that most of his friends from last year would no longer be in his class and busied himself trying to find where his new classroom number was stenciled onto the ground so that he’d know where to line up. He was first in line when Mrs Newsome came out to lead the class inside, and when she came near he leaped forward and gave her a big hug.

I lingered superfluously at the back of the queue and really could have probably made my exit right then instead of traipsing in with the rest of the parents, but felt compelled to see Sam to his desk on his first day. Sam didn’t look back. By the time I made it into the room he’d already found his desk, had stowed his bag away, and was focused on his first task of the year. When I said my goodbyes I barely got an acknowledgement, let alone a kiss or a hug out of him, he was far too busy furiously colouring in his blank name label.


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