Do you remember your first day of school? Honestly, I don’t. I do remember being jealous of my brother for being able to go. When it finally turned out to be my turn, I was so excited. Nervous, probably too. But I have vivid recollections of thinking “now I’ll be as smart as my brother”. His tales of all of the things he learned. The school books. The whole world seemed exotic and adult to me. And yet, that first memory of entering kindergarten . . . nothing. I only remember bits and pieces of my entire Jerome Jones experience. Little girls braiding my hair, stressed out teachers, kind teachers, teachers who ate in front of the class. I still don’t think of it as negative and I know I loved having my hair braided (though mom getting the tangles out later was a pain).
All of this is brought up to the surface by the fact a little lass started kindergarten yesterday. The picture before arriving she looks so excited — eager for life and discovery. The picture after being picked up from her first day is a portrait in satisfaction and happiness. It breaks my heart a little to think of the few firsts we have. Especially the good firsts. Zoë is at the age of discovery and the world outside and knowledge and all of the stuff that makes life so incredible and overwhelming and great. I never want to go back and relive my life. I don’t think of youth as my glory years. But for a moment I’d love to be able to feel like that one more time. The first big step outside. The first step towards growing up. I’m not her mother, but I’m so proud that her first response is a smile, anticipation, happiness.