Registered Ron for big kid school today. (It’s called grade primary here, and senior kindergarten everywhere else in the universe, I think. We are quaint, here in Nova Scotia.)
This being my second time, I figured it would be no big deal getting the job done. Heck, it’s a five minute trip in and out. I even arranged for the paperwork to be sent home with Harry ahead of time so I could look up things like doctor’s phone numbers and emergency contact names at my leisure, instead of in a mad panic while perched on the edge of a too-small desk in the hallway outside the principal’s office.
But then came finding the birth certificate. (After busily rooting through every drawer, file, box, and hidey-hole in the entire house, I remembered to look in Ron’s engraved pewter birth certificate holder, a gift from my father-in-law. I have pointed out before that SAD makes me stupid, right?) And as I looked at the birth certificate, and then Ron’s health card, I realized that his middle name is spelled differently on both.
And I’m not sure which is right, or what I actually intended, or why they are different, or what the fuck.
Then I told Ron we could go to register him today, and he got dressed for the outdoors in record time. He marched up to the front door of the school and told me that the door said “pull”.
Registration was a breeze and then he wanted to look around a little. We poked our heads into the library, which is pretty standard fare for a small rural school; a row of computers, racks of mostly-Scholastic books, brightly-coloured murals on the walls.
He was entranced. He walked right up to the parent volunteer and announced “I’m Ron. I’m Harry’s little brother. I can read chapter books. I see you have a lot of those.”
He said hello to Harry’s teacher. He said “nice to meet you” to the completely-charmed office manager. He carefully read the bulletin board and asked if people go camping for Earth Day, “which is on April 22nd, Mom!”
When we got home, Michael asked him about his brief visit.
“It was PARADISE,” he announced. “We saw the library, and it has SO MANY BOOKS!”
He wants me to order his backpack right away, so he can “get used to carrying it.” He’s decided which teacher he wants. He says he’s not scared of the bus and that he never wants a Thermos because he doesn’t like leftovers for lunch.
Sad isn’t the right word. I’m not wistful or mournful or “oh, my bay-bee is leaving me, whatever shall I do??!?!”
I just feel that pulling away. Because I’ve done it before, it’s almost worse. Just a few short years and I won’t necessarily know all of his friends. I won’t know every detail of his day. He’ll start picking his own clothes and choosing those library books without my intervention, and he’ll be his own little person even more than he is now.
I can’t wait for him to swagger in there on the first day, already reading, with the joint cased and the way paved for him by Harry (apparently his teacher told the class she’d met Ron, and Harry reported to everyone that “he is super-funny. Just wait, you’ll see!”)
I’m so excited for him to climb on that bus and head off down the road. Almost as excited as he is.
But not quite.