When I last posted, I was wiping away tears as I drove away from Nathan’s school.
My tiny little guy was suddenly A Big Boy and I had seven hours to kill before I went back to pick him up. But perhaps you are wondering how the story ends (well, not ends…the next installment would be more accurate).
Nathan is walked out to the car each day at around 2:30 by his aide. On Day One, I arrived early – VERY early, actually – to wait. As I sat in my car, I watched a few classes of kindergarteners make their way from the playground back into the main building. At Meet the Teacher Day last week, I had marveled at how old they looked compared to Nathan, as he is short and has held onto his baby pudge a little longer than many of the kids; I also was aghast at how young many of the parents looked. Doing the math, I realized that any mom 27 or younger was born after I graduated high school, and that made me feel really old.
But as I sat in my car watching the kindergarteners stroll past, I chuckled to myself. Our school system requires uniforms and the elementary students have to wear either navy or white collared shirts. The kids I recognized – the ones who were either in preschool at the same school last year or are the younger children of families we know – all wore navy.
The kids wearing white shirts? Those kids have the rookie parents. Those of us who’ve been around the block a time or two know you don’t send kids to kindergarten in pristine white shirts. White seems logical in our hot and humid climate before you’ve spent hours with a bleach pen and Oxi-Clean, but after that? Not so much.
Point goes to: the “experienced” parents.
But back to the real story… When he finally emerged from the building, Nathan was positively zombie-fied. He could barely open his eyes and the aide told me she’d had to wake him up because he fell asleep during rest time. It was a familiar scene from preschool. Remember this from back in February?
He continued to look very…relaxed while we drove across town to pick up Sarah Kate then popped into the high school for a few minutes for a team photo (more on that in a later post). He perked up watching the girls volleyball team, and by the time we got home he had rallied and became a whirling dervish for the next four hours until bedtime.
Day Two started out similarly to Day One, although I didn’t cry this time. I had a full day planned and 2:30 arrived quicker than expected. Once again, Nathan emerged in a zombie-like trance. Ideally, I’d have tried to get him to lay down for awhile, but he has an older sister with things to do and places to be so off we went again. Once again, from 4:00-8:00, his mania knew no bounds.
If he’s like this now, what will he be like by Friday?
Day Three. I arrived early again, but this time Nathan came out of the building with a giant grin and ran toward the car, full of glee, when he spotted me. His aide reported to me that he hadn’t fallen asleep like the first two days, which explained the absence of the zombie walk. The resource teacher had walked out with her and they told me he had a “very active” day.
Warning! Warning! Warning!
I was pretty sure “very active” was code for “he was a handful” which of course is code for “Nathan was a holy terror today and we are relieved our time with him is over.” I smiled and waited for them to continue. I don’t recall every detail, but there may have been some slithering on the floor and there was definitely some squirming in his seat. Then came the nugget I was anticipating: there was quite a bit of running, and not of the “Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Nathan Right Over” during PE variety (Do kids still play that? I’m betting not…)
But the best part was what they told me next.
Nathan did his running away thing, which I should really trademark Nathan Runs™ because he has a very distinct style not only of the act of running, but the intentions behind it and the facial expressions during the act.
As Nathan Runs™ down the hallway, they told me, other teachers bend down and give him huge smiles. The resource teacher and aide found this somewhat problematic, presumably because it did not in any way discourage Nathan Runs™ from doing the running thing. The resource teacher said something to the effect of “It’s bad because they love him and think he’s so cute!”