Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Start

He was anxious for days, always questioning what would happen and how it would feel. At times, the anxiety appeared to overwhelm him. It even came pouring out of him and into the toilet three times the day before in th form of chewed up foods partially digested. "I'm so scared mom. What will happen to me?" He wanted to know the impossible.

On the other hand, he was full of smiles and expectation at becoming a' kid'. He couldn't wait to put on his special clothes and carry his backpack or eat in the gym. He was well practiced for the morning rush and energetic about the crisp morning walks. Nothing could stop him from rushing into the experience and succeeding. Readiness was a stage he had passed long ago and now only moments brimming with possibility sat before him.

The morning came, his alarm blaring for his attention to no avail. Quietly I reached out and tapped him gently at first, then mussed his hair, and finally shook him until he was bothered enough to be minimally alert. Slowly, he crawled from his bed and down the ladder, walking directly to the dresser to silence the harsh beeps. He turned off the alarm clock.

His attention fell upon a brightly wrapped package just behind the alarm clock. "Is this for me?" he asked to no one in particular. He pulled it down and began to unwrap it. First a shoulder seem showed and then the gray under material of the neck hole. The wrapping fell tot he floor, replaced by a smile that lit the room up more than the sun. "It's a Star Wars shirt!" he shrieked, waking his sister.

Hugs were passed around and then he dove into the script. Dressed and bathroomed, we all sat down to breakfast. Warm Cinnamon Rolls were pulled out of the oven and iced generously. Glasses of juice clunked noisily on the table. Breakfast cleared away and setting heavily in our stomachs, we brushed our hair and teeth before putting on shoes and the already filled backpack.

Proudly he led the procession down the driveway and up the hill. Soon his steps slowed as he realized this was no longer a dress rehearsal, but his first stage performance. His father caught up to him and extended his hand. They walked together, father slightly ahead for a few blocks. Johnny lagged behind, being pulled along like a reluctant water skier. The building came into sight and his confidence slipped further.

I took his hand and lead him further on. Through the single door and down the hall we stumbled with all the other families. Finally, we found his classroom and he entered with great regret. His teacher greeted him warmly and he sunk. "No. I don't want to do this."

I lifted him up and made him an unbreakable promise without rainbows but with just as much certainty. "I promise you can." He went through the paces with little commitment. Sullenly he hugged me, his face still clouded with doubt. Again we walked hand-in-hand to a table and sat down to tackle the first task.

I whispered that it was time for me to leave and tears sprung to his eyes instantly. "I promise you can do this. I know it is scary and hard, but you are bigger than this." The tears began to fall, his head hung low. I gave him a soft kiss. "I will see you a little while after lunch. Look for a special thing in your lunch box," I said and then left the room. I glanced back to see him slumped over and a tear shining at the end of his chin.

"How did it go?" his father asked.

"He's crying, but he'll be okay." He nodded, sharing an understanding of the child we both had. He would survive. He'd even excel. The beginning was always the hardest part of the journey for him. But from there grew all the rainbows of his future.

*** Daily Writing Practice ***

No comments:

Post a Comment