I headed over to my sister's house tonight, to celebrate my niece Annabelle's 6th birthday. It was not only her golden birthday, but it was her first day of Kindergarten! Chances are, if you are in school and haven't started already, today was YOUR first day of school too! How exciting! Wait, did I say "exciting" or did I say "a completely terrifying event when experienced by yours truly"? My first days of school were mild panic attacks interrupted by brief moments of a false sense of security.
So, Annabelle goes to a Spanish immersion kindergarten. The teachers all speak completely and only in Spanish. The kids are told that while teachers UNDERSTAND English, they don't speak it. This is, duh, untrue. The teachers are completely bilingual. Anyhoozle, I was all asking about what it was like to be at a Spanish preschool. I wanted to hear about las maestras and sus amigas and lo que sea. Instead, she wanted to talk about every normal first day of school thing I had experienced.
When I asked Annabelle about her day, I asked "What was your favorite part?" She thought about it, and then said "Probably the bus ride! We all told the bus man it was too hot on the bus, so he opened up all the windows! Even the one on the ceiling!!" She could not have been more excited if the bus were made out of candy. She did mention the uncomfortable moment when she discovered she would not be wearing a seat belt, but then she rationalized that she rides in a boat, and THOSE don't have seat belts, so it was back to the wonderment of the bus ride.
I, on the other hand, still lose sleep over riding a new bus.
Then she talked on and on about Lunch. Kids love them some lunch. First, she tells us that she sits at a Peanut-Free table because a kid in her class is allergic to that particular legume. Call me insensitive, but a school lunch without a good ol' PB&J is like a Trapper Keeper with no pencil pouch. Sacrilege. It didn't seem to phase Annabelle one bit, which was great. My sister asked Annabelle "How did you know where to go at lunch?!" as if she was reading MY racing thoughts. Annabelle twirled her birthday tiara, and calmly said "I dunno, you just go when they tell you." As if it was simplest thing in the world...heading off somewhere you don't know because some stranger tells you to. In a different language.
My lunchtime is a gulped-down Lean Cuisine sitting at my desk working. When someone tries to tell me to do something different - like meet out at an actual restaurant, or run a few errands - I get flustered and just skip lunch altogether sometimes.
She mentioned that she met a new friend, who shared her lip gloss and gum with Annabelle, and who - upon finding out that it was also Annabelle's birthday - also gave her a dollar. Who is this girl, and where can I find her? She sounds like the kind of pal I need.
Although, today my friend Liz invited me to the Twins game tomorrow night - seats are right behind the dugout! - and I just inhaled a freshly-baked zucchini muffin that Claire just made. So, I think I probably come ahead in the whole Friends Who Give Me Things Area.
I couldn't really get over how grown-up Annabelle was about the whole First Day thing today. She's only six years-old, and already, she naturally excels at things that I struggle through daily. What a little rockstar! Despite the fact that she's 3 feet tall, I really looked up to her today. Way to go kid! Oh wait - even though she can understand and speak Spanish, shows no fear in the face The Unknown, and has no qualms about not having a peanut butter sandwich, she can't read this yet, so I totally win this one. Yeah, it may be cheap, but I'll take it.