Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tuesdays With Jonah

And Wednesdays too.

This week is the last week of Kindergarten for Jonah. It's been a fun year. He's learned a lot and so have we. Despite our initial fears, we've found out that Jonah can actually pay attention in class, that he can learn to behave properly in certain settings, that he can actually absorb the knowledge being given to him by his loving teachers.

Seriously, before this year began, we were wondering if Jonah could do any of those things. Last Summer all we had in mind was the 4- and 5-year-old Jonah, the one who cried when we gave him 5 crackers instead of 4, the one who could barely sit through a reading of Give A Pig A Pancake without jumping up and doing a dance at least once.

But he did it. We were shocked when, at our first Parent-Teacher conference his wonderful teacher told us that Jonah was progressing nicely, was well-behaved in class, and was doing well in school.

"Really?" I asked. "We have a history here." (She had taught both Timothy and Stephen.) "You can tell us the truth."

She laughed and said that yes, really, Jonah was doing well. That he was certainly more active and vocal than his older brothers, but that he was doing a good job of controlling himself at school.

"Really?" I repeated.

"Yes, really." She said, smiling. "You'll start to see it at home about midway through the year."

And we did, although he's still Jonah.

He's reading now, too, on his own. Just like Timothy and Stephen did, he'll ride along in the car, looking at road signs, calling out the ones he can read (Ice! Chick-fil-a! Ham!) and asking for help with the ones he can't read yet. He has his own set of books in the back of the car, alongside the books of the older boys. So sometimes when we drive around, I'll hear him sounding out words, or just reading out loud to himself. Wow.

With the end of this school year comes the end of a peculiar blessing of timing. Jonah goes to a different school than the older two boys, whose day begins an hour earlier. Plus, my wife has "activities" on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So on those days I get to be home with Jonah for an hour each morning, just my boy and me.

At about 8:15 I'll go downstairs and make sure he's started getting dressed. At 8:30 I'll yell down to remind him to put on his socks and shoes. At 8:45 I'll go sit on the stairs (if it's cold) or outside on the front step while we wait for his best friend's Mom to come pick him up. While we wait, we'll talk, play games, look at the world exhibited in our front yard . . .

But no more. Today was the last Tuesday With Jonah. The Wednesdays ended already, a couple of weeks ago. And next year he'll start 1st grade and go to school with the big boys and I'll be at home all by myself on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, which isn't as nice as it sounds.

Sam starts Kindergarten in two more years, and we haven't yet decided if he'll go or not. I for one am pushing for him to go, for a variety of reasons. But somewhere in the top 5 reasons is the possibility of Tuesdays with Sam, which would be very beneficial. I'm sure he'll enjoy them too.


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