26 October 2011

Report Card

The leaves are changing. And falling. The air is crisp. The days shorter.

Fall, it seems, is officially here and with it, we find ourselves well into this, the Doozer’s very first year of school. Month two now and that phrase is no less foreign to say aloud or type out: Our son is going to school. School.

How did this happen?

As we sat in his classroom one recent evening (a group of full-sized adults, assembled in a circle, seated on the world’s smallest chairs like we’d been suddenly transported to Lilliput), it became quite clear that this is yet another major shift in the kid’s life. At least for us. He seems to be handling it with aplomb, taking it all in stride, adjusting to school like it’s no big thing at all. But for us, watching him leave our own little circle, spending time away from us with people who are not related to him, it’s still taking some getting used to.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s great. It is. We recognize that this is the natural progression of things, that this is how it goes, and we do want him to grow and thrive and spread his wings and make new friends and have new experiences, new discoveries. Hearing his stories about his time at school, the songs he’s learned, the art he’s made, the interactions he’s had with other kids, that’s all amazing. I dig it.

Of course, our house is also overrun with Doozer artwork. Seriously. In only his second month of school (going only twice a week), he has produced a back catalogue of compositions to rival the most prolific artist. What’s the opposite of Terrence Malick? That’s him. We were informed one day that he bogarted both easels simultaneously and began working on two paintings side-by-side, at the same time. Until another child expressed interest in using an easel and he had to cut one of the pieces short. I’m not going to lie, it’s not his best work. It’s an incomplete expression of his artistic sensibilities.

The stuff is everywhere. What do we do with it all? To get just one piece out of the house, I asked to take a painting to work with me, to hang at my desk. And rather than take this as a great compliment about his burgeoning artistic skills, he denied me! We haggled and wrangled and he finally allowed a lesser piece (somebody botched his name on it) from his early blue period to leave with me.

His favorite was painting with little toy cars. That’s a very long sheet of paper with multi-colored streaks of tire tracks running all over it. I don’t remember getting to do something like that when I was a kid. I’m a little bit jealous. I get why he liked it so much.

So, this is our life now. For the next fifteen years or so. More, probably. Hopefully more. Though I still can’t imagine that this pint-sized schoolgoing newbie is ever going to be a middle schooler. Or a high schooler. Or, shudder to think, an undergrad. It’s just not possible. He’s so tiny, how will he ever get so big? And why would he want to?

Now that he goes to school, he keeps telling us he’s a “big boy.” Never mind that he sleeps with a stuffed duckie and won’t go number two in a toilet and has yet to master a fork. In his mind, he’s all grown up.

I’m not quite there yet. And something tells me I might not ever be.

No comments:

Post a Comment