Today is my baby boy’s first day of kindergarten.
As we all know, he went to preschool and we cheered and danced and then terrible things happened, but here in this house we’re shelving that. We had a whole summer of it, and the black clouds loomed in the hazy heat, and we did our best to face it, and to sometimes shove it away with closed curtains and locked doors. So I took a deep breath, threw down the ladder to the attic and I found a place for it on the dusty shelf. It won’t ever go away, but it’s not down here where it’s warm and messy and sweet. Where we’ve been talking about his new school, and his new teacher who knows all about the magic of life on the spectrum. We’re talking about riding the bus and getting back to making dinosaur sandwiches. Down here, we’re celebrating, because my teeny tiny boy whose growing into the gentlest of giants started his first day of kindergarten.
Somewhere in my chest I’m heaving with sobs. I’m waving my arms and cheering like a loon. I’m whispering to the 22 year-old girl sitting in a hospital bed cradling a swaddled itty bitty boy whose staring back at her, both wondering how in the hell anyone expects her to keep this thing in one piece that she’s going to do okay. Because today, that itty bitty boy’s head comes all the way to her chest, and those teeny tiny toes fit into big guy size 1 shoes and he grabbed his Avengers backpack as soon as that bus came around the corner and marched right up to it with his shoulders back and a wondrous look in his eyes at this magic that came all the way here just for him.
And he said, “Bye Mama!” with a wave and a thumbs up.
And then she watched the bus until she couldn’t see it anymore. Because it turned the corner or because her eyes were getting watery? Hard to say, but the sun’s out and it’s hotter than a firecracker lit on both ends, and we’ve got magic school buses coming to our house and fearless boys who face new adventures with big smiles and wave to their mothers from bus windows.
Yeah, we’re doing okay.