An End and a Beginning

August 22nd, 2005

Well summer is now officially gone– Isaiah started first grade today.

In retrospect it seems like we didn’t do much this summer. I don’t even recall if we made it to the zoo one time, although we did have a good time at Mastodon State Park.

There were a couple of reasons that we didn’t get out as much this summer. One of which was the extra-hot heat that descended on the RiverBend Area and surrounding regions. The other was T-Ball.

Even when the heat isn’t extra-hot, if you got up at 8 to be at the park by 9 and then stood out under the sun for the next ninety minutes helping manage a team of five and six year olds (the phrase herding cats comes to mind) you’d just as soon go home and slob out on the couch as get cleaned off and packed up to get back in the van and go somewhere. Especially since chances are good you’ll soon have to get started mowing grass anyway.

We’ve also acquired a new Saturday tradition this summer. We’d been going occasionally for a few years now ever since Isaiah was old enough to appreciate it, but now that Gideon is old enough to enjoy it, too we’ve been going to the Children’s Library about every Saturday. We don’t always get books since sometimes we haven’t yet finished the lot we got the week before, but we just about always go.

Gideon’s working on saying ‘library’ and he’s gotten to the point where you can tell he’s saying it if you know that is what he’s trying to say, but he still has room for improvement. Isaiah loves the books and Gideon loves the ‘ockpuh’ at the library. ‘Ockpuh’ is Gid-speak for octopus. There’s a big box in one corner of the main room which is filled with puppets and Gideon’s favorite one is an octopus.

The T-Ball season is over and tomorrow night– soccer starts. Isaiah is excited about it and I hope he has a good time. We’ll see if his interest continues strong enough for him to focus on learning the game instead of goofing around with his teammates.

But today he began first grade.

He has been excited about it, but not nearly as much as he was for kindergarten which is understandable. It’s not a totally new experience. I asked him how his day went, but he gave me the standard type of answer I remember getting last year: “It was pretty cool.” or other no-content words to that effect.

Two other boys in his class were in his kindergarten class and the three of them all got to sit together and he was excited about that. He was also excited that his buddy Andrew from preschool had moved over the summer and would now be going to school with Isaiah. They aren’t in the same class, but they spied each other across the gym this morning before school and Isaiah “told him to meet me on the blacktop in a few days” so they will have fun getting reacquainted then. We still owe Andrew a trip to the zoo from a promise made a year and a half ago.

There were also two other students Isaiah got to know last year who were glad to see him, although his reaction wasn’t quite the same– at least he made a big show of acting like he felt differently when Ruth was telling me that Brianna had said hi to Isaiah this morning and that a girl named Morgan had seen Ruth in the hall and asked her if Isaiah would be at the school that year.

On top of all the noises of denial of interest and sounds of disgust at the sound of the mention of those girls’ names Ruth mentioned that Isaiah had made a new friend in his class today named Lydia…

Later in the evening, a little before supper, we had another first. While Ruth stayed home to rest, Isaiah, Gideon and I went for a walk– without the stroller. Gideon wanted to walk. He heard me say the magic ‘w’ word and he began heading for the entryway saying ‘walk’ and pointing at the front door.

Sure enough he did walk, too. The three of us went for a ten or twelve block walk that was about twenty minutes and Gideon walked approximately seventy-five percent of the time. He started out thrilled to be out on the sidewalk stepping along right beside me his left arm up in the air to reach my hand. Eventually, though, I could tell his little feet were beginning to drag so I lifted him up to ride piggyback.

The first time I lifted him up he was having fun riding along and touching the leaves of trees as we passed under them, but in a few minutes he wanted back down. He leaned over to my right side reaching for the ground and telling me ‘walk!’ so I put him back down and let him walk again. The next time he didn’t even want to be picked up, but I figured making him rest a little would allow him to enjoy the walk more and my plan seemed to work out pretty well. I think he got just enough walking- he was ready to get home when we did, but he still had enough energy to run to the playroom and start fooling around like an almost-two-year-old.

So summer is over but that’s OK. The end of summer is also the new beginning of an important stage in Isaiah’s life. And autumn is my favorite season, anyway.