Saturday, June 18, 2011


The Prince had a "graduation" ceremony at preschool yesterday. I was thinking auditorium and no one will see me, so I brought my work computer along, just in case. Wrong. It was just a little get together being thrown by the class. Prince's teacher called each student up one by one (as their parents showed up in some cases) and told everyone a little bit about them.

She said (to paraphrase) "Prince joined our little group very late in the year. When he got here, he wasn't sure he wanted to be here and he really preferred to play by himself. He didn't want to play with others. But now he doesn't want to play by himself. He looks around and asks for someone to play with him. He and his family are moving to (where are you moving?)" she prompted. The Prince dutifully came out with "Nigeria" and, on additional prompting, that Mommy is having a girl.

I cannot describe just how proud I was.

I'll try anyway.

Toys at play. Buzz. W[oody]
Prince is smart. He is learning to read. He's been counting forever. He practices writing letters and spelling words with blocks all the time. I've never worried about his scholastics. That's not why he's in preschool. He's in preschool to socialize and get some of the services he needs that we can't provide by ourselves. Hearing that he actively seeks out other children is such an amazing accomplishment for a boy who still doesn't look people in the eye often and can be obsessive about his interests. I'm proud of my boy.

I'll try some more. I was a smart kid. I was reported (and I well remember) being often bored at school and church because I'd heard or read these things before. In the third grade I had to write a 20 page, researched paper by hand ... four times a year. I met nothing to challenge me like that until well into college. However, "plays well with others" was not something I remember appearing on my report card. I remember hearing a number of other, less flattering reports. Without going into detail, popularity was never one of my accomplishments, and even hang-out-with-someone friendship eluded me most of my life. ... I am proud of a son who wants to play with others.

I am proud of a son other children like to play with. I've watched how they greet him at school. They seek him out. They made posters for all the children with short statements about them from everyone in their class to take home. I was impressed at his perceptiveness: one mother was proud that Prince was the only child who commented on her daughter's favorite activity, and another on her son's favorite color. Other children had nice things to say about him.

I'm really proud of My Son.