I tell Archer about my first day of kindergarten. I was wearing a white dress with blue stripes and my teacher’s name was Ms. Parish. Hal tells him about his first day of kindergarten and Archer nods, sort of listening, mostly studying the new route from our house to school.
“Daisy, F3,” my son Archer says as we pull into our parking spot. Disneyland’s about to open and we’ve arrived, just the two of us, our last hoorah before school starts.
The alarm goes off and I pull the pillow tightly over my head. My husband, Hal, offers to wake the kids so I roll over, fall back asleep until Archer’s voice wakes me, this time for good. “Hi, Mommy. It’s kindergarten day.”
Before we go on any rides, Archer tells me he wants to watch “the rapids coaster.”
“It will only take a minute,” he says, but an hour passes and we’re still watching. He points and studies and tilts his head, trying to understand why one raft is here when another is there, tracing time with his finger as he calculates distance and studies the faces of the hundreds of people screaming down the falls. Every few minutes I ask Archer if he’s ready to get on the ride.
“Not yet,” he tells me but I’m getting impatient. Bored. I cross my legs and watch him, pick my fingernails and wait.
And then… (more…)