Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's time we say so long, for now...

Can you believe that Boy Wonder’s kindergarten adventure is over ?

It seems like last week when we were dropping him off at school and sending him into the wide, unknown world of school. My "baby" left for Texas last weekend, so I’m starting to feel a little like Demeter, who had to send her child into the bowels of hell once a year. (No, seriously, I can relate.)

So in honor of one adventure ending, and his annual adventure beginning, I’d like to share

“Kindergarten: A Scrap-blog.”

First day.
As much as I wished he’d cry and beg me not to go, he actually looked a little embarrassed that I was hanging out in the hallway with all the other parents. He knew two kids in his class from church and the local playground, so as far as he was concerned, he had a lunch and he had some friends—he was good to go. I was bummed out on the ride into work that day, thinking this was the beginning of the end. My little boy was a “real boy” now in that Pinnochio sort of way…the strings would be harder to pull as he became his own little person.

Taking the Show on the Road

My fears that he didn’t need me anymore were for nothing. I met him and his class at the fine arts center downtown and he couldn’t wait to introduce me to everyone he saw. (It’s sort of his thing. He likes to make connections between people and he wants his enthusiasm to be YOUR enthusiasm). We sat in the darkened theater with about a million other kids from across the school district and I decided right then and there that I really loved elementary school and that I should never have been so impatient to leave.

Watch this, Kobe!
Can you believe I coached kiddie basketball? Me? The girl who can’t hit the rim to save her life? Lisa Leslie I am not, but I still managed to get six kids through 18 games with minimal tears and hurt feelings. We even got a few baskets, and though we weren’t officially scoring, I’m pretty sure we won most of our matches. Just sayin’. Dominic wasn’t much of a shooter. Or a dribbler. But the man could rebound like the scrappiest alley cat and he lived for snack breaks and Capri Suns. He was the one who came up with our team name “The Rhinos” (along with his little buddies). They learned sportsmanship, teamwork, and how to have fun. I learned that I’m not the biggest fan of most other parents in the sports world. True story. P had to teach Boy Wonder what to do when people crowded your space. My suggestion to poke their eyes out obviously wasn’t going to work…

Trick or Treatin'.
No, it wasn’t his first Halloween, but it was his first Halloween CARNIVAL at his official school. We packed up the family, dressed the kids as a shadow ninja and a lion and hit the town. Boy Wonder and P braved the haunted maze and came out with relatively few wounds to show for it. Maybe a couple of fake webs stuck to them, but no worse for the wear.

Winning the school art contest
Did you know our little man could draw? Sure enough. In the fall, his school held a contest for all the students to design a bookmark for the city library. And our man Boy Wonder beat out the ENTIRE school. He got a T-shirt with his design on it, a chance to bask in the spotlight at the front of a school assembly and one proud mama in the audience. He also won first place in the food art sculpture contest with a huge clay chocolate chip cookie that we cut a big bite out of. We skipped the science fair out of sheer protest—I was annoyed that fizzy volcanoes had to include some sort of hypothesis to test. I’ve got one for you: Fizzy volcanoes are COOL. Test that one…

Yellow Days are Sad Days
As the year got rolling, Boy Wonder began to learn about consequences. His teacher had a rating system for their days and every afternoon, he’d have a colored stamp on his folder letting us know how it went. Green was good, Blue was fantastic. Yellow was not so good. Red was principal’s office-material. We did our best to let the first few yellows slide, but when they started showing up a little more frequently, he started seeing his after-school cartoon watching disappear. I hate being the bad guy with him, because honestly, he’s probably one of the sweetest humans on the planet (he and his brother are), but that’s the whole parent thing in a nutshell, isn’t it? It was a crash course in actions and consequences for the child and his parents alike.

“Can Sam come over and play?”
He started (somewhat) talking to his friends on the phone this year. It was mostly “Dude….dude….DUDE! Wanna come to my house, dude? Awesome!” But still, there he was, asking to call his buddy Sam. With it came the failed attempt at a sleep over I wrote about a few months back, but mostly it was afternoons at a buddy’s house (or ours) with snacks, the WII, and a mountain of legos.

I Double-Dog Dare You
It wouldn’t be a complete scrap-blog without mentioning the ol’ Flick incident, would it? Inspired by the 24 hours of “A Christmas Story” on TBS, Boy Wonder stuck his tongue to a pole on the frozen playground and hilarity ensued. I saw a mom at the last field trip and somehow that came up. She said her kindergartner came home and told the family all about it. Boy Wonder is famous!

Kindergarten winds down
This past month has been a whirlwind of moving across town (way way way across town), field trips to the zoo with Team Wolverine, Field Day to celebrate the end of school, and preparing for the long journey to Texas. As Boy Wonder said his good byes on that last day, he was mobbed by his classmates and I was quick-thinking enough to keep my camera handy. I can’t explain the genuineness of this age—they really are that sad to see a buddy go. Boy Wonder posed with his teacher and it hit me. As bummed as I was that he’d grown up enough to enter kindergarten, I was having trouble fighting back the tears now that he’d OUTGROWN it and was leaving it behind.

But that’s how it goes isn’t it? I sat back and watched Boy Wonder win his sack race and remembered the day my best friend in 4th grade and I won the three-legged race at our own field day. I remember the epic catch I made in sixth grade to win our class the kickball game. Time is our biggest enemy and our greatest ally. Without it, I’d never get the chance to be the proud mama bear of one Boy Wonder and I’d forever be stuck in that awkward, bony-kneed, mullet-wearing phase I was so fond of in the late 80s. (I’ve still never forgiven you for those god-awful haircuts the first 11 years of my life, Mom. Just so you know!)

So now it’s time for Boy Wonder to go and soak up some summer sun. He’ll come back a little taller, a little tanner and his mama’s very own first grader.

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