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random observations, thoughts on life, humorous stories....from the studio while I paint.
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Kindergarten Orientation

Posted 09/02/2010 at 01:54 AM by superkat
Updated 09/02/2010 at 04:23 AM by superkat

Okay. I'm confused. I took my son to "Kindergarten Orientation" yesterday. It was a big deal. And I honestly thought it was a fun 1/2 day...but I also remember the days when the first day of kindergarten was like this: "Johnny, meet Bobby. Bobby and Johnny, meet Sally. Here's some crayons. Don't write on the walls, or each other, have fun. See ya later." Not today...we got name tags in the full blown plastic case with the extra special tag holder in the school colors, order forms for uniforms and gym wear, PTA information....and I'm thinking, "Whoa! Just let me get my 5yr old into the first day...and then we'll take it from there."

Liam's school is charming. It was built in the early 1900's, and his classroom is huge with big bay windows and a huge fireplace with a hearth. I fell in love with the atmosphere...and his teacher. For many reasons.

Now, understand, most my son's friends are over 20 and work in theater. So he is very candid, and understands better than most adults what the world is really like. He also likes girls. A LOT. That sets the stage, so to speak for what our day was like.

He has been chompin' at the bit for weeks to go to school. And I am excited for excited that I just laid out all his clothes, ran to Wallies and picked him up a shark lunch bag and packed his very first lunch full of his favorite things...because I love him so much. I want him to be SO completely happy on his first day that it sets the tone for the years to come. But I, we go to this orientation...and Liam already knows the librarian and one of the other teachers because we went on Monday to get his uniform shirts (purple....can't find those in a polo shirt ANYWHERE...looked all over the mall) So when we walk in he runs up and gives hugs and wants to know where his room is and while we are waiting for the orientation to begin, he helped organize some books and sort toys for the other classrooms.

Finally, the teacher arrives and we are taken to Liam's classroom. All the kids are given name tags to color....Liam immediately starts drawing a reef and clownfish. He starts talking about stacking rock and how his clownfish have eggs in an anemone which become fry and need to be fed rotifers and phytoplankton. The rest of the kids drawing smiley faces and flowers are looking at him like he just beamed down from another planet. Yea! off to a great start. My son. Terrific.

So the teacher gets them in a circle on the floor and starts asking questions...seeing what all the children are like. Liam raises his hand to answer each and every time. I am now cowering in a shadowed corner. One of the questions was to name something special that you did over the weekend. Liam's hand shoots up. His teacher acknowledges him. In my head, I'm saying, " we go..." And out of my son's mouth comes the following, "Ok. So I would like to have a conversation about my mom it wasn't her birthday but i pretended it was because i am Liam Rex Spiderman i changed my name sometimes i am a secret agent or a Jedi knight or a transformer but today i am Liam Rex Rex is a stormtrooper Spiderman because i am a superhero and i protect my mom because i really like her and she is Queen mommy so i made her a candle holder and we lit the candle and she blew it out and made a wish that i know will come true because when she wishes for me it comes true and she is a superhero too because and her powers are with water because we have reef tanks and she loves fish and coral and i know all the coral and fish names because mom teaches me and her birthday isn't for a long time but i wanted to give her a birthday because it would be a surprise and she is really pretty when she smiles so that's what i did."

I don't think he took a breath once.

I now have my head buried in my hands. The father next to me says, "who's kid is that? is that your kid?" And I reluctantly nod. He looks at me and in the nicest tone he says, "wow." Oh God...blackhole..where are you? Now that he has everyone's attention, including two of the prettiest girls in the room, he's fully charged and ON. This worries me. As they are lining up to take a tour of the lunch room, Liam takes each of these girls under his arms and gets in line. The father next to me? "Yeah, that's my daughter". I say, "He's five. He's harmless." And just at that moment Liam shouts over to me, "Hey mom! Look! They are so cute!" And gives me a double thumbs up. I look at the father, he says, "maybe we should just hook 'em up now..then all our troubles will be over." So all the kids and the parents walk down to the lunchroom. Liam is promising the contents of his lunch if the girls will sit with him. I'm anxiously awaiting the end of this "orientation" and having a shot of the Cozumel Vanilla Tequila. Maybe two...and it's only 11am.

In the lunchroom, the teacher explains how lunch is done. Three boys have now joined Liam's table with him and the two girls. They are not paying attention. So they all got their first reprimand. Liam got very very quiet...and when the teacher finishes and asks if there are any questions, Liam's hand shoots up. Oh dear God.......He asks, "is it okay if we start talking again?" Now the teacher is trying hard to conceal a laugh, and she says, "yes, Liam, we are all excused." Here's the thing....the whole time we were there, she was looking at name tags for the names of the kids...except for Liam.

I quietly pulled the teacher aside and said, "I have a question." I say, "should I just give you my cell number now?" She laughed and told me that I had nothing to worry about. That yes, he did indeed have some extra energy and a very high intelligence level, but that he would make a great leader with a little elbow grease and focused activity. She said she was eager to divert that into creativity, and that no, she didn't believe in putting kids on meds. I was crying by the time she finished. I explained to her that his life has been very unique...that he has already traveled to South America, the Bahamas, Mexico, California, NYC...and that his immediate family is highly active in performing arts and that we are very open and honest in everything we do. As I finished this...I noticed that Liam was approaching the Vice Principal out of the corner of my eye. UH OH. Both the teacher and I turned and watched this see, the Vice Principal has a certain way about him....and Liam asks, "Um, can i have a discussion with you? I am really impressed with this..this...what is this called?" He says, "orientation?" Liam says, "yes, this orientation. and i like meeting people." He says, "that's very nice. we are glad to meet you." Liam says, "so, i was wondering, are you gay?"

I turned to his teacher...."let me give you my cell number." Her eyes are about as big as mine." I ask her, "is he gay?" she nods. Oh dear God.....

The vice principal catches his breath and says, "why, yes, Liam (he knows his name, too....) I am. Do you know what that means?" Liam very plainly states, "Yup. You like guys and you dress nice. See you Thursday!" And he comes and takes my hand saying, "I like it here Mom, it's alot like the theater."

And we leave. Quickly.

As we walk home (the school is a 5 min walk from the house) Liam is laughing, running and telling me how much he loves me, his school the kids and the teachers and he says, "i think this is going to be the best days of my life." And my eyes well up with tears as I think, I hope so my sweet little boy...i truly do.

The experience taught me something. I watched the brilliantly candid honesty of my son and wondered, when does that leave us? When do we lose touch with that edge of existence? Over the last year it has been my honor and privilege to meet many new people, and I wonder, how many times did I ignore the obvious, or hedge a conversation because i was either trying to protect myself, or someone else from being uncomfortable. Why do we do that? I would have never have gone up to the VP and said what Liam said. Even if it was obvious, it's just so "in your face" that it can be shocking....

Personally, I hate walking on eggshells around people. I tell it like it is when i am working, when i am running a show, when i am home, running a house...but when it comes to acquaintances, I have only once did a session of, "ya know, I never really liked you...." blatant in your face honesty. So at what point does that happen in our lives? When do we enter into that fear of free speech?

According to the definition, "Orientation is a function of the mind involving awareness of three dimensions: time, place and person." I believe that my son's orientation for kindergarten also awakened me to a need for a new perspective on my own orientation in life. I also was astonished at his honesty and straightforward personality in the midst of strangers. So as I thought about this tonight, while prepping my beautiful little boy for his first day of school, I decided to become more aware of my time, how i spend it, where and with whom. Time. Place. Person. It's very simple...and I think that is why we lose touch with what Liam demonstrated yesterday. We let things get too complicated for our own good.

So today, while i am praying that my cell phone doesn't ring within the first hour of school, I believe I will start to simplify my life. It can't be that hard. Not if you can cut to the chase, state what's on your mind and be unafraid to draw outside the lines once and awhile.

And as for Liam? I am sure that today at 215pm...if he makes it.....there will be laughter, stories and probably a good nap....and I will soak up every single minute of it...because this day, this moment in my son's life....will never come again.

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Total Comments 8


  1. New Comment
    Steve Canyon's Avatar
    Warm fuzzies. Life is good.
    Posted 09/03/2010 at 05:05 AM by Steve Canyon Steve Canyon is offline
  2. New Comment
    superkat's Avatar
    and no phone calls...and the teacher loves him. whew.
    Posted 09/03/2010 at 06:04 AM by superkat superkat is offline
  3. New Comment
    Mmckibben's Avatar
    Begins the 15 years of pain and suffering known as school. Us kids are forced into slave labor; doing many pointless tasks that could be learned in half the time if they didn't use work sheets. The bell to seventh period rings as if the pain is over, but only more pain and work awaits at home. Let the political indoctrination begin!
    Posted 09/04/2010 at 11:06 AM by Mmckibben Mmckibben is offline
  4. New Comment
    Mmckibben's Avatar
    Posted 09/04/2010 at 11:07 AM by Mmckibben Mmckibben is offline
  5. New Comment
    superkat's Avatar
    excellent comment!!!!
    Posted 09/05/2010 at 12:15 AM by superkat superkat is offline
  6. New Comment
    Mmckibben's Avatar
    did superkat die? she hasn't posted any blogs for a while
    Posted 09/14/2010 at 11:44 PM by Mmckibben Mmckibben is offline
  7. New Comment
    superkat's Avatar
    nope...alive and well. thanks for noticing!
    Posted 09/15/2010 at 12:02 AM by superkat superkat is offline
  8. New Comment
    Mmckibben's Avatar
    Posted 09/15/2010 at 06:56 AM by Mmckibben Mmckibben is offline

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