“There is no doubt that these first things are magical, that you hunch over the changing table waiting for another smile, that you shriek, “You rolled over!” as though the next step will be the Nobel or the presidency, that a first step is like watching the history of human civilization from small fishy things to Neanderthals unravel in one instant before your eyes.” (Anna Quindlen)

 Each child in this house… in fact each adult too is making his or her way through their latest “first.” Anna Quindlen’s quote best captures the utter awe we typically feel over those new baby firsts, as if the universe is unfolding just for Max.

This week marked Maya’s first social snag that I couldn’t help smooth over. She’s fearlessly venturing into first grade each day, and as it turns out, I’m not allowed to follow. At the end of the day I am the receptacle for all of her tales of adventure, the favorite teacher, the new book, the new friendships… This week, I heard her first tale of a friend lost (by embarrassing her new desk-mate with a marriage proposal) and the gang of his friends that took up his defense….. It was high drama.

Honestly, high school is still too fresh for me to hear her stories without wanting to hold my own lecture in the auditorium, singing high praise to the wonderful, silly, earnestness that is Maya and threatening all who cross her with some horrible curse.

Of course, she gracefully recovered from her misstep, making up with her new favorite friend who happens to be a boy, rather than a boyfriend, and his buddies backed off. She’s exchanging erasers and bracelets and drawings with other kiddos and starting something called the jungle gym club with her very favorite friend and neighbor.

Like all firsts, this all felt more intense than you’d guess. Few of us remember much from first grade, and I’m sure the social conflicts of my first grader will be lost in time just as my own were. Except this one of course, recorded because of the way it affected me, not her.

One thought on “Firsts

  1. School firsts can be so hard! I'm sure it is MUCH different with girls since they tend to be a little more dramatic and hang on to those events a little longer than boys do, but it is hard when they come home and you have to ask them about every aspect of their day rather than be there to spend it with them.

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