A couple of weeks ago Sam, my ten year old, announced that he wanted to attend summer classes at the local public school. I am always a little reluctant to give into this because I feel like I give them a pretty thorough run during the school year and believe firmly in summer vacations. However he was consistent in his wish so I decided to let him try.
Today was his first day. He came in the door this afternoon exhausted but basically happy.
"How was it?" I asked.
He shrugged. "It was fun. But the teacher's snippy."
"Yeah. She fussed at everybody all the time. If they got something wrong she jumped on them."
He gives me a serious look. "No." Sam isn't perfect, but he's an extremely well behaved kid and (in case you've missed it from my frequent blog entries about him) he's quite the perfectionist.
"Did you have fun?"
"Recess and lunch were good." He flaked out on the couch next to me. "This morning we had to make folders for different subjects and decorate them. Then the teacher read us a mystery about a bus ride and some guy with a bloody hand--which I thought was sorta stupid.
No Sam. Tell us what you really think.
"Then we were supposed to finish it by writing eight sentences. I only wrote six. The teacher said I'd combined mine and I could have broken them into more, but I thought they were pretty good the way they were."
I am suddenly seeing my soft, introspective son with new eyes. We may have to have a talk about maintaining a respectful attitude (even if you think you're smarter than the teacher).
"You didn't tell her that, did you?"
"No!" He went on. "She put us in these groups and we were supposed to ask each other for help with the story if we got stuck. My group had three. Me, another boy, and a girl named Emily. Emily is rude." Emphasis on rude.
"Rude? What do you mean rude?"
"She wouldn't quit poking me."
At this point, his fourteen year old brother who was eavesdropping nearby burst into laughter.
Sam glared at him and told him to quit listening.
"That means she likes you," I said.
His brother laughed louder.
Sam flashed him another irritated look and quietly asked me (blue eyes wide behind wire framed glasses), "Do you really think she likes me?"
"Probably. Usually when a little girl won't leave a boy alone, that's what it means."
He rolled his eyes and sighed. "She could have just said so."
And so it begins.