Kindergarten Orientation.

Yesterday we took The Narrator in to Kindergarten Orientation. It was a short little program prior to the registration process, which happens later.

It was basically a handful of wide-eyed five year olds being shown the kindergarten classrooms, meeting the teachers, and taking a short ride on a school bus. It was also an opportunity for misty-eyed moms to meet with some of the school officials and be graciously handed a giant stack of paperwork. There were a few veteran parents there, who had already packed off a kid or two to school, but you could tell there were some first-timers, us among them. The stoic vets stood back and let the newbies fuss over their child’s clothing or hair or something before leaving them with the teachers, then the parents were led away for a quick tour of the school and the ceremonial bureaucratic obligations- A.K.A – paperwork.

My wife and I had both spent time working in this particular school, and I had even graduated from there after thirteen years there. Some of the teachers and support staff that are there were there when I was, and it was very strange to see them in a new capacity. They had gone from teachers to coworkers, and now they’re my kid’s teachers.

It was mind-blowing.

The Narrator handled it very well. He could hardly conceal his excitement when he discovered that his classroom would have LEGOS.

Since I have a long history with the school, which is small- K-12 grade all in one building, and knew many of the professionals there, I had made a joke with my wife before we got there that I was going to count all the instances of
“Oh, my, I can’t believe your son is coming to school already!” that I heard throughout the course of the orientation.

I really and truly should have counted, because everyone we ran into in the hallway said it to us…well, those that weren’t immediately distracted by Mini-Me, whose adorable little face was scrunched up in frustration since I had decided to sling him to my chest rather than carry him or, as he would have preferred- to let him roam unfettered about the building, free to cause mayhem however he so pleased.

I didn’t have a problem with the repeated “I can’t believe he’s coming to school already!” lines- people are genuinely incredulous when you realize that one of your new students is the child of one of your old students. I don’t know if I could ever get over seeing that myself. It amused me more than anything, and for some of the ones that had been excruciating experiences to deal with as one of MY teachers, or even the ones who caused me endless agony when I worked there as the computer technician, the chance to see the flicker of “My god, I’m old” in their eyes as they saw us leading a bewildered five-year old down the hallway was rather satisfying.

I know that sounds rather evil of me, but let me have this one, I’m working really hard at trying to be nice to people lately.

The Narrator had a great time, my wife welled up only for a minute or two, and Mini-Me behaved himself after he realized his prison (me) could be kicked like a horse to make it move.

The worse part of the whole thing was that at one point, I was “Cell Phone Guy.” – The jerk-whistle who gets and answers a phone call in the middle of a meeting or event. Thankfully, I had had the intelligence before hand to silence the ringer, I don’t think the school assistant superintendent would have appreciated the Doctor Who theme being blasted across the library as she gave her speech about how wonderful the kindergarten program was. Unless she is another Whovian, but who can take that chance right?

If it hadn’t been from the police chief, I wouldn’t have taken it. But it was, and I had to, so I tried to unobtrusively sneak out of the room while whispering to my boss and taking Mini-me’s sneakered shoe to my thigh as he kicked about, figuring that if I was distracted he could finally make his escape.

In the “negatives” column of the day, the embarrassment of that managed to beat out the traumatic realization that we’d be packing The Narrator off to Kindergarten in a few short months.

For the most part, I’m trying not to focus yet on the fact that my little boy is going to be entering school just yet. You might say I’m in denial. I’m planning on packing the summer months with as much as I can with him. He and I are already planning a ‘camp out’ – tenting in the back yard… plenty of fishing, a small hike, and he still helps me mow the lawn, even though he’s so big now that there isn’t enough room on the tractor seat for the both of us anymore.

I’ll need to come to grips with it sooner or later, but not yet. I’ll keep my little boy for just a little bit longer before I have to let him turn into my big boy.


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