My alarm hadn’t even gone off yet but already, 8:37am, I was up. I couldn’t get back to sleep. It was the first day of school.
Not for me as much, I was just the teacher, but for the boy Tristan, today was numero uno, the first day of First Grade. He’d been looking forward to it for a couple of weeks now, as the other kids had gone back to school in the beginning of September, but we were only now getting around to it by the middle of the month.
Breakfasts were had, showers were taken and teeth were brushed as we found ourselves sitting down and starting the school day. “Alright, school’s starting,” I proclaimed and we both jumped into our individual seats across the table from one another. “First, we light a candle.”
This day, as every day would, we spent a couple of minutes talking over the morning candle about the previous day’s events before beginning with our morning music lesson, followed by some exercise and a little light meditation. Guitars, a bike ride and sitting Indian-style, and all before 11am.
We spent the day making workbooks out of bailer twine and construction paper, painting their covers with watercolors under the sun and on the picnic table that came with our little plot of land for the week. Afterward, snacks over a story featuring the letter “S” — Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to be exact — was to follow. Tristan and I made lunch together — handwork, home-ec and health education all at once — and then wrapped the day into a close with him practicing writing that very same spindly letter.
I worked for a few hours and he was free to play around the farm, riding his bike in furiously fast loops, making sandstorms out of the dirt for his GI Joes and all day long constantly sounding out words, anything he would see, trying to decipher which ones began with or ended in the letter “S”.
“SSSSScissors. SSSSmiles. SSSSSSnake Eyes.”