As I sat at Austin's sixth grade graduation this evening, I was forcibly reminded of his first day of preschool. I had many misgivings about sending my young son to preschool. We had never been separated on a regular basis before and our worlds revolved around each other. What if he wasn't ready for the cold, cruel world? What if the world wasn't ready for him? Eventually, however, I realized that I had to loosen my choke hold and let him go.
Reluctantly, I left my boy at school and took his sisters home where we waited with bated breath for his return and the account of his first day in the wild (preschool was taught inside one of the local elementary schools in which he might encounter "Big Kids"). I remember sitting in the rocking chair, rocking the baby, as I listened to his tale (which mostly consisted of "fine"s and "I don't know"s). While we were talking, he fell off of his bed and landed on his backside on the floor. "Ouch!" he exclaimed, "I fell on my thing that starts with an "A" ". Shock and horror filled my mind! He had only been in school for one day and already he was referring to his backside as his "thing that starts with an A". Never before had he used (or even heard) such language. I had sent my son out into a corrupt world and would now be reaping the consequences of that decision. With great trepidation, I asked him to explain what he meant by "his thing that starts with an A". He responded, "You know, Mom, my alligator" and he lifted the large, plastic alligator that he had landed on when he fell. Apparently, they only covered animals that start with an A on the first day of school.