David turned six years old in November and is completing a year of Kindergarten in a special education classroom. Next year, he will repeat Kindergarten in a general education classroom. Today is the Kindergarten roundup at his school, and I did not attend. Instead, I am sitting at Panera having just finished chatting with my sister.
I did not receive information in the mail about the aforementioned round-up of Kindergarteners. David does not attend our neighborhood school, which is too full to have an early childhood or a special education classroom and probably explains why sometimes we seem to be in a vacuum. I did not attend the Kindergarten round-up last year, either, because it really didn't apply to David since he was not going to be in a traditional classroom. And, we had not been invited. I also did not attend the tea for the Kindergarten mothers on the first day of school because I did not even know about it until I later read about it in the school newsletter.
So, my to-do list for Monday included calling the school office to get the information so that we could be rounded up with all of the other Kindergarteners, but then I had to pause for a moment. What really would be the purpose of going? To take David on a tour of the school that, by next fall, he will have attended for three and a half years? To take a look at the classroom that he already spends some of his time in? Should I pull him out of class for the round-up? Or go by myself and have to explain to people why I am there without my son?
Do I really want to subject myself to comparing David to all the other precocious kids, most of whom are a year younger than David and would be galloping circles around him? Okay, that last question is not really fair. They would be galloping circles around him with their ability to communicate, but academically David would be ahead of many of them, not that any of the other mothers would be able to tell from talking with him.
It was as if there was a prom and I hadn't been invited. In the end, I decided that I really didn't want to go, but it would have been nice to have been asked. Here I sit at Panera, thinking about the first day of school next year. With or without the round-up, David has the benefit of experience and will be much better prepared than many of the other students.
So, I picture David moseying into the classroom on the first day, thumbs hooked through his belt loops, elbows out, walking with legs bowed like he has spent his whole life on a horse. He greets his peers, "Howdy there, partners. This ain't MY first rodeo."