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Posts Tagged ‘first day of school’

Tonight I am thinking about my grandson.  He’s 2 ½ and he starts school in the morning…pre-school but still.   I have a lot of mixed feelings about it.  I think he’s too young to be going.  He’ll only be going twice a week and it is only a half day each time.  The only good thing is that he needs the social skills because he doesn’t ever interact with other children so he doesn’t know what to do when there are other kids around.  When we go to the park, he won’t let go of my hand.  I let go of his but he grabs mine and won’t let go.  He’ll look at the other kids but he stays away from them and doesn’t talk to them when they try to talk to him.  Instead, he just looks up at me.  So he needs to be around other kids.  That part is good but I’m not so sure about the rest of it.  We’ll see how it goes.

The other day a friend on Facebook posted about how he was spending the day with his granddaughter’s which in and of itself wasn’t strange because he often posts about spending time with her and about all the things they do together like spend time in the garden and play and go places.  What made this particular day last week different was that it was her last day before starting school.  I kind of noticed a bit of a bittersweet tone in that Facebook post and I could empathize with that bittersweet feeling.

Today, on Anderson’s last day before starting pre-school, we took him out to eat and then took him for a long walk and visit to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.  He loved it.  He ran from one sign to the next and we had to read the type of plant the sign marked.  I tried to fool him and made up some gibberish and he seemed to know I was not really reading it.  He stayed at the marker, pointing to each letter until his mommy went over and read it to him.  Then he went on to the next marker and waited for it to be read to him.  The ducks and geese in the water were a real draw, too.  He wanted to go in the water with them but of course, he couldn’t.  We had to keep a sharp eye and a quick step after him to make sure he didn’t jump into the mucky fowl filled lake.  At one point, he chased the ducks from the grassy area back to the water, pointing at the ducks saying “go water duck”!  He picked wild strawberries and ate them.  He wanted to touch a goose but we had been warned that the goose had just bitten another patron so we had to pull him away crying.  He didn’t want to leave.  He kept walking ahead of us and at one point he looked back at us and said, “too much fun.”  That summed it up.

Of course the rest of the afternoon was not quite as fun because as he grew tired and his nap time approached, we had to keep him awake so he will sleep tonight and be able to get up early so he can be at school at 9 in the morning.  We took him to get new shoes that light up when he walks and he got a cake pop at Starbucks then went home to play before bed.

I got a text message from my daughter a little bit ago saying he was in bed and asleep so with luck, we’ll be able to get him up early for school.  Yes, I get to go with them to take him to school.  My daughter thinks that Anderson will be the only one with a posse there.  His mom and dad are both going, as am I!

I’m crossing my fingers that we can all keep it together tomorrow and that he’ll have a good day and like going to school.   I don’t know if I will like him going to school but as long as he likes it, I guess that’s all that counts.

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Tomorrow is the first day of school here.  I can imagine how excited kids are, whether they are happy to return to school or not, to make that trip to school tomorrow.  I was sitting here thinking of the night before I started kindergarten.

When I was little, we lived on Seventh Street about five blocks from Horace Mann Elementary School.  Before i started school, my sisters and I would go stand outside the front of the house with my mom as she watched my older siblings walk to school.  We could just stand on the sidewalk and wait and watch as they got further and further from us, closer and closer to school.  In the afternoon, we’d go wait outside to watch as they got closer and closer to us.

I used to wonder what school was like and what the people there were like.  I knew that at home we spoke Spanish all the time but when my brothers were home from school, they spoke English to each other.  Little by little I learned to speak English too but at home, with my parents, we spoke Spanish.  I wondered what it would be like at school where everyone spoke only English.

Good things came from going to school.  When my brothers came home from school, they would bring books and papers with them.  I didn’t know how to read but I loved looking at the books.  I loved looking at the pictures and at the strange letters that my brothers said were sentences that meant things.  I wasn’t used to books at home.  We didn’t have them.  My mom had a Bible and there was a big phone book but we didn’t have regular books.  My father read the newspaper when he got home from work so I knew he could read and that it was interesting to read because my dad would get so caught up in what the newspaper said that he often forgot we were sitting next to him waiting to play with him because we had missed him all day long while he was at work.

I remember too that my mother used to get magazines in the mail.  I remember Look and Life magazines.  They were big, especially to a child, they were oversized magazines with a lot of pictures  in them.  I liked looking at those pictures and I wished that I knew how to read but my mom said I couldn’t learn to read until I went to school.  So I looked forward to going to school so I could learn to read.

I remember the day before I started kindergarten.  I was so excited!  I got to wear a new dress that the lady next door had made for me.  I had new shoes and pretty new white socks with pink ruffles at the top.  My uncle lived with us then and I remember sitting at the red formica table in the kitchen, excitedly talking to my uncle Joe about going to school.  I wanted him to tell me what it would be like and what I would have to do.  I was afraid that the teacher might say something to me that I wouldn’t understand because although I did speak English, there were a lot of words I didn’t know.  My uncle said there would be a lot of time to play and the teacher would read stories to the class.  He said I would get to draw pictures and then he said I had to be careful to write my name on my papers so the teacher would know that they were mine and I would get them back.

I froze.  I couldn’t say anything.  I just sat there with tears in my eyes looking at Uncle Joe.  He asked me what was wrong.  Why was I crying?  I pretended there was nothing wrong but he knew something was upsetting me.  In the end I told him that I couldn’t write my name on my papers because I didn’t know how.  He laughed and said he would teach me how to write my name.  That afternoon, Uncle Joe and I sat at the kitchen table and he taught me to say the alphabet, which I hadn’t know before that day.  Then he showed me how to write each letter.  Finally, when I had learned how to make each of the letters, he taught me how to write my name.  Letter by letter, he taught me to write C-O-R-I-N-A.  By the end of a couple of hours, I was very happy because I knew I would be ready to go to kindergarten the next day.

The next morning, I waited impatiently on the front sidewalk as my brothers and my older sister walked to school.  My mom and my sisters and I watched from there and I could not wait until I would be walking home with my brothers and sister that afternoon after my first day at afternoon kindergarten!

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