Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Day of First Grade

Primo starts first grade today. This is a big deal to him because it is the first of the grades. In his opinion, kindergarten didn’t count.

All last year when people asked him, “What grade are you in?” he replied, “I’m not in a grade. I’m in a garten.”

Now, both he and I are both spared the strange looks we used to get in response to his reply, because he can simply say “First.” That, already, will be an improvement.

Big changes happen in my son’s school when kids enter first grade. Parents no longer accompany students into the classroom and help get them settled in. Now, Primo will be dropped at the front door, with several hundred other big kids. First graders don’t eat lunch in their classrooms or have recess in the small front yard, with just their classmates and with their teacher supervising. Now, Primo will have lunch in the cafeteria and recess in the big, back playground with the whole first grade and a half-dozen aides trying to keep order. He’s a big kid, and this is what big kids do.

The new backpack is hanging on its hook, with his name written in permanent marker on the front.

The new, matching lunch bag contains his favorite lunch and a vanilla wafer.

The bag containing over a hundred-dollar’s worth of school supplies specified by his teacher (and that’s just the mandatory ones, not counting the “Wish list” items – who knew flet-top pens cost so much money?) is waiting by the door.

We are all systems go.

Cross your fingers that neither of us sheds a tear at drop-off.