School is back in session, and here in Salt Lake you can sense a tiny bit of fall in the air during the wee hours of the morning. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still blazing hot during the day. This makes me glad because I’m not quite ready for another long Utah winter.
Beatty started first grade this year. I can hardly believe it. I will be totally cliche and say that it seems like yesterday he was running around with a binky in his mouth 24 hours a day. Have I ever mentioned his former deep and abiding love of the binkie?
At the ripe old age of four, when we were teaching him how to mow the lawn and put his beer cans in the recycling bin, and when I was five months pregnant with Sloan, we tied that binkie to a ribbon on his bed post. So this was the only spot in his world that he could get a good binkie fix.
Sometimes he would run into his room and just stand by his bed sucking for a minute or two – and then scamper off to do his thing. The binkie leash caused me to lay in bed at night and fret that he was going to toss and turn in his sleep and wrap that damn ribbon around his neck, choking him off with no clue as to how to fix the situation. I would tiptoe in and check on him at least once a night. It never wrapped around his neck, but he did assume some strange postions to keep that plastic piece of love in his mouth. I’m surprised he didn’t end up with permanent neck cramps.
I don’t recall much myself about first grade; but I do remember my teacher at Dogwood Elementary in Reston, Virginia was Mr. Fry. I can’t remember specifics about my year in his classroom, even though I liked him a great deal. He was awesome. He taught me in first grade that men can be teachers of young kids and also that white men can have Afros if they want them badly enough.
I now think these two lessons served a great purpose, and that’s enough for me. If Beatty learns this year that school can be fun and that boys and girls can be whatever they set their minds to, it’s all good.