Monday, June 26, 2006

Reading Lists

I was downstairs earlier today looking for some of the chocolate I had purchased on my bachelor weekend, and was talking to my wife in an effort to distract her from my search. She hadn't mentioned (i.e., yelled at me about) the chocolate yet, so it was possible that she hadn't seen it.

(To distract her, I use lists; any list, about anything, with more than a few items, and her eyes glaze over and it's like I'm not in the room. Very handy. Talking about computers also works.)

A few mentions of my ideas for furniture placement in the new house, and I basically had the kitchen to myself, so long as I didn't mention money or make sudden movements. I checked the usual places (none of which I will divulge in such a public forum as this) and found the box. Success!

Sitting next to the box, though was a reading list from my son's school. I looked at it and started scanning the titles.

"Timothy's already read most of these," I said out loud (I had already re-hid the chocolate, so stealth was no longer required). In my mind, I was rejoicing that we could just mark these books off the list. Nothing kills a good book like having to read it.

"That's the 1st and 2nd grade list," came the reply. There was a hint, an insinuation, a subtext in her voice. As usual, I didn't get it.

My face must have shown it, because she tried again. "Timothy's list is underneath."

I looked. Sure enough: 3rd grade reading list. (Oh, yeah, Timothy's going into 3rd grade. Eek.)

"Then why did they send this other one?"

She looked at me with the Are-You-Really-This-Dumb look?

Then it hit me: Stephen. He starts 1st grade this year. This was Stephen's reading list.

A). Wow.
B). Stephen starts 1st grade this year.

Ok. This could be my new, all-purpose phrase, along the lines of "snakes on a plane," or "c'est la vie," or "it is what it is," or "shikata ga na." Stephen starts 1st grade this year.

It can be stoic: "What're you gonna do? Stephen starts 1st grade this year."

It can be epicurean: "Woohoo! Party! Stephen starts 1st grade this year."

It can be Christian: "God is in His heaven. Stephen starts 1st grade this year."

It also means is that Stephen, my quiet one, Mr. Do It Myself (Usually Without Asking), the eater, the sleeper, the charmer, little Papa, etc., is actually starting 1st grade this year. His exposure to the world is getting wider and deeper, and I do not doubt that the world will be better for it.

But for us, it means less and less of Stephen here, in our lives, until one day he goes away to college and never calls. So I'm a mess; and hence the chocolate.


At 1:31 PM, Blogger fiorinda said...

I'm kinda glad I'll be somewhat distracted when it is time for our boy to start kindergarten. I'll miss having him around, but I know he'll be happier at school than at home with all the crying babies. Doesn't it seem like yesterday that we were all just getting married, and now our kids are in elementary school. Life needs to slow down! And by the way, Congrats on selling your house!


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